Darley sprinter Generalife continued his winning streak with an impressive victory in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Generalife was extremely well-backed in the lead-up to the Winter Stakes and favourite backers would have been delighted in the early stages of the race when the Lonhro gelding was settled into a beautiful position one out and one back by jockey Kerrin McEvoy.
The four-year-old strode up to challenge the leaders coming around the final turn and he showed his excellent turn-of-foot when asked for an extra effort from McEvoy to score a comfortable one and a half lengths win from Romantic Moon and Scream Machine.
Generalife has been one horse that has improved considerably since John O’Shea took over as head trainer of the Darley operation and the leading trainer is confident that the rising five-year-old still has plenty of improvement in front of him.
“When I arrived I had to work out what was going to keep going under my style and what wasn’t,” O’Shea told the media after the race.
“There are plenty that didn’t, but he certainly has.
“He is gangly, late maturing Lonhro that is going to better with more time.
“There might be a race for him in Melbourne and he could be the sort of horse to go to Dubai because of his rating.
“What we have learnt is he is definitely a lot more effective on top of the ground and he likes Rosehill Gardens.
“If he can get a fast-run, seven-furlong race somewhere, he could pick up a nice race.”
McEvoy partnered Generalife when he took out the Gaypark United Fruit Handicap (1350m) at Rosehill Gardens on June 14, but missed the ride on the talented sprinter when he took out the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) in impressive fashion at Rosehill Gardens on July 5.
The leading hoop was delighted to get back on board Generalife and he believes that the gelding has improved significantly during his winter racing campaign.
“I suppose he’s getting a bit older and some horses gain confidence with winning form,” McEvoy said.
“He could sometimes settle a bit slow, which would get him back and put him in awkward positions, but now he’s retaining a spot and it’s helping him to win races.
“He’s been consistent all the way through to when Pete had him at Hawkesbury where he was only being narrowly beaten, so full credit to the horse.”
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2014 Winter Stakes Results
|1||4||GENERALIFE||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||–||5||56.5kg||$2.60F|
|2||9||ROMANTIC MOON||Bart & James Cummings||Christian Reith||1.3L||1||54kg||$8.50|
|3||2||SCREAM MACHINE||Jason Coyle||Tye Angland||1.6L||9||58.5kg||$4.40|
|4||7||THE PEAK||Bart & James Cummings||Taylor Marshall (a)||2.1L||4||55kg||$10|
|5||3||COUP AY TEE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||2.2L||3||58kg||$14|
|6||10||WOULDNT IT BE NICE||Paul Perry||Jeff Lloyd||2.7L||8||54kg||$12|
|7||1||TROMSO||Chris Waller||Joshua Parr||5.1L||2||59kg||$19|
|8||5||UNDER THE SUN (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Glyn Schofield||5.2L||6||56kg||$26|
|9||8||HIDDEN KISSES||Chris Waller||James McDonald||5.6L||7||54kg||$17|