Solemn Wins 2012 Geelong Classic but Derby no Certainty

Darley colt Solemn bounced back from a 2 1/2 length defeat at Hawkesbury earlier this month to run over the top of his rivals and claim the Listed 2012 Geelong Classic (2200m) today.

It was by far the longest trip of the raw three-year-old’s career and he showed an appreciation for the rise in distance as he was ridden quietly before producing a strong finish.

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy elected to settle towards the back of the field with the son of Bernadini before pulling him out wide and allowing him to begin his run just before the home turn.

From there he showed impressive finishing ability to find an extra gear and score a convincing victory ahead of Malabar Man and Escado.

Snowden said Saturday week’s 2012 Victoria Derby has always been a possibility for Solemn but is cautious that he may not yet be ready to take one the likes of unbeaten New Zealand colt It’s A Dundeel.

“He’s always a horse we’ve thought a fair bit of and the Derby is a race we’ve always had in mind,” Snowden said.

“But my honest opinion is he’s probably six months away from where he should be.

“The task for us is to get him back up in 10 days in what I think is going to be a very good Derby this year. That colt of Baker’s [It’s A Dundeel] he’s a very, very smart horse.”

McEvoy celebrated his birthday with the race going perfectly to plan and was excited that a colt who has always shown potential could produce his best on race day.

“This fella disappointed me a little bit last time,”

“Pete and Paul [Snowden] have been happy with him since he’s come to Melbourne and we’ve always liked him so it was nice to see him do it today.

“Hopefully this fella can like up in good shape on the first day of the carnival.”

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