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Adelaide-based trainer Tony McEvoy has declared plans to target the San Domenico Stakes 2014 next month in Sydney with his weekend Caulfield winning young gun Affirmation.
Three at the end of the week, current two-year-old Not A Single Doubt gelding Affirmation posted their second win at start number three on Saturday after a brilliant late burst in their first look at 1400m.
Backing up from a victory at Morphettville over Manhattan Prince over 1100m on July 5 they relished a step up in class and distance with Mark Zahra riding for the first time.
Running in the opening race in Melbourne on Saturday Affirmation jumped from barrier seven as a $5 chance in the $80,000 The Grand Hotel Frankston Handicap (1400m) and was dominant with their three length victory over the Peter Moody-trained Club Star ($6) after extending their lead over the final 200 metres.
Ken Keys’ consistent colt Our Kaboom ($4.40) was a distant third seven and three-quarter lengths off the winner just ahead of the Mick Price-trained beaten favourite Berlutti ($2.80) in fourth.
“He’s really smart. Definitely a Group horse,” Zahra told AAP post-win speaking of Affirmation.
“I was off the bit early then they slowed up and gave me a chance to travel.
“I went from flat out catching them to having them covered a long way out.”
McEvoy is confident of better things to come from Affirmation too as he looks ahead to the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, a thought reflected by stable rep John Cornell on Saturday.
“He’s a lovely horse, it was a good strong effort,” Cornell told Racing Victoria after the colt’s Victorian debut.
Their first stop that will give their trainer a better understanding of their ability is scheduled for Rosehill Gardens on August 16, Affirmation set to run in the $125,000 Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m).
Last year’s San Domenico Stakes winner Va Pensiero went on to win the $125,000 Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m) back at the track a fortnight later.
All going well Affirmation could be aimed at similar races with their being a possibility they rise all the way to the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) on September 13.
In between the San Domenico and the Golden Rose is also the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on August 23 that Affirmation could be aimed at.
Current 2014 Golden Rose odds are led at $6 by Blue Diamond Stakes winning filly Earthquake.
Affirmation meanwhile can be found further down the Golden Rose betting markets at $34.
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