Classy French import Pornichet has justified his resounding favouritism in just his second appearance in Australia this afternoon; displaying a keen turn of foot to comfortably take out the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m).
Jumping from the gates well, Pornichet settled in prime position on the heels of early leaders Spacecraft, Lady Lakshmi and Vibrant Rouge who set a noticeably quick tempo over away from the gates and rounding the bend.
Finding the final straight with a clear racing line, Pornichet steadily spooled up and shot forward; locking in a sprint battle with Spacecraft 400m from the post; pulling clear with 200m to run and finding the line two lengths in the clear of General Groove; Spacecraft maintaining a strong-enough sprint for third.
Jockey James McDonald delivered an excellent ride on Pornichet for victory in the 2014 Sandown Stakes and is confident the three-year-old will progress into a serious racing contender in 2015.
“Obviously his class was evident. We didn’t want to make any excuses for him so we put him in the race and obviously he was going to do the rest,” McDonald said after crossing the line.
“I hit it a fair way from home … he found the line really well, a very smart galloper, they’re (connections) going to have a lot of fun.
“He’s only on the way up; I reckon he’ll improve in fitness as well. I think he’ll be a Group horse for sure, especially in autumn with a bit of give in the tracks.”
Trainer Gai Waterhouse was understandably pleased with Pornichet’s performance in the 2014 Sandown Stakes, confirming a return to the spelling paddock is now on the cards ahead of a 2015 autumn preparation.
“Plenty to work with and I’m sure the further he goes, the better he goes,” Waterhouse said.
“He’s still very green – he wants to over-race early and then he got into his rhythm, took a second or two to pick up and then he really was full of vengeance finding the line.
“He excites me enormously.
“We’ll give him a little break now, bring him back in the autumn and you’ll see him back here well and truly gracing Flemington and tracks like that.”
Punters who backed Pornichet to win the 2014 Sandown Stakes and had signed up for a Ladbrokes Card will already have access to their winnings!
2014 Sandown Stakes Results
|1||2||PORNICHET (FR)||Gai Waterhouse||James McDonald||–||8||54.5kg||$2.15F|
|2||8||GENERAL GROOVE||Leon & Troy Corstens||Dwayne Dunn||1L||2||54kg||$15|
|3||3||SPACECRAFT||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Stephen Baster||1.75L||1||54.5kg||$26|
|4||4||ANOTHER PRELATE||Quinton Scott||Craig Robertson||2.5L||9||54kg||$19|
|5||9||REFER||Heath Conners||Craig Williams||2.8L||7||54kg||$31|
|6||1||SPEEDINESS||Colin Scott||Luke Nolen||5.55L||3||59kg||$6|
|7||7||LADY LAKSHMI||Stephen Theodore||Vlad Duric||6.05L||5||54kg||$10|
|8||5||VIBRANT ROUGE||Glenn Thornton||Damien Thornton (a)||7.05L||4||54kg||$20|
|9||6||RED BOMBER||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||11.05L||6||54kg||$5|