Steadily building to the task over just three starts in his maiden Australian campaign through autumn, co trainers David Hayes and Tom Dabernig have revealed they will use this afternoon’s featured Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) as a Spring Racing Carnival indicator for talented British import Spillway.
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A standout performer in his native Britain, Spillway began his racing career under the guidance of notable trainer Eve Johnson Houghton in the late stages of 2012 before transferring to the care of Hayes at the conclusion of his 2013 campaign.
Pleased with the way the four-year-old has taken to work since returning to their Flemington stables in late June, Hayes told The Sportsman he is confident the son of Rail Link will compete well in the 2014 P.B. Lawrence, but conceded the 1400m race distance may be slightly too short for success.
“He bolted in at his last start in Sydney during the autumn carnival and that was group 3, he spelled well, in fact he’s thrived in the winter months and I’ll be more than interested to see how he fares on Saturday.” Hayes said.
“I know the race will be a bit short, and that might be his undoing, but he has impressed me in what he’s done for the long term.
“I took him to Flemington last Friday and he went well in a jump out and Damien Oliver who rode him said that he would like to be on him in the Lawrence Stakes, so that’s a compliment in itself.”
Yet to confirm a path for Spillway beyond this afternoon’s Caulfield feature, Dabernig, who officially took up a position as co-trainer with his uncle Hayes on August 1st said he is confident the stallion out of Flower Market will handle his allocation of 59kgs well.
“His form will tell the further he gets the better but I think he will sprint well fresh,” Dabernig said.
“He is a horse that doesn’t carry a huge amount of excess weight and is naturally pretty athletic.”
Appearing in nominations for both the 2014 Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate, Spillway has so-far secured a competitive total of four wins and as many minor places from just 13 competitive starts.
Debuting in Australia for seventh in the Listed Golden Mile (1600m) at Bendigo on March 15th, Spillway was unable to handle the late pace and eighth in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Open (2000m) on April 5th, but secured an impressive victory when charging home to win the Group 3 Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m) by close to three lengths last time out on April 26th.
Allocated the central barrier 5, Spillway is currently available at generous odds of $10 for success in this afternoon’s P.B. Lawrence Stakes, or $2.95 to run a place with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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