Breaking through for an impressive maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing in last weekend’s Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm, trainer Henry Dwyer has revealed exciting three-year-old Sonntag will not contest events over the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Pulling clear in the final straight to comfortably finish the Queensland Derby in the clear of Pinstripe Lane and Vilanova, Dwyer told TVN he does not want to push Sonntag to the limit over approaching events, believing Perth’s Summer Carnival to offer several more-ideal events than those in the spring season.
“I haven’t spoken to the owners yet, but there’s Perth later in the year of you wait until the autumn,” Dwyer said.
“You just have to pick your options with him. He’s not the sort of horse that you can get a long, sustained prep out of.
“Four or five runs is his limit; pick a target and aim at it. Because he tries so hard it takes a lot out of him. He needs a few days after a run to start eating and drinking.”
Claiming an impressive total of three race wins and two minor places from just eight competitive race starts to date, Sonntag has returned to racing in arguably career-best form this time in; finishing third in the Mitavite Plate Maiden (1300m) first-up before securing a maiden race victory over classy competition in the Plumbtec Lakes Entrance Maiden (1500m) on April 17th.
Continuing to build in form and class, the Teofilo gelding finished second in the Stramit Building Products (1600m) before returning to the winner’s circle when finishing in the clear of Khutulun in the ALH Group Handicap (2000m) prior to the Queensland Derby.
Stamping his claims as one to watch over racing preparations to come, Sonntag overcame being blocked for a run twice and being pushed off his racing line by second place getter Pinstripe Lane to win the 2014 Queensland Derby.
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