Winning trainer of the first at Royal Randwick on Day 2 of The Championships Jason Warren has confirmed plans to back-up next Saturday in the Champagne Stakes 2015 with his Fernhill Handicap winner The Barrister.
A canny ride by super hoop Hugh Bowman saw the Star Witness colt lead all-the-way to win the $150,000 Listed Fernhill Handicap (1600m) in 1:39.18 and kick off the Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day action in Sydney.
The victory in the two-year-olds’ handicap sees The Barrister, who was racing in black-type company for the first time in the Fernhill, exempt from ballot for the $400,000 Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) back at the same track and distance next weekend.
The Fernhill Handicap – Champagne Stakes double is a hard one to complete however with the last horse to do it being Dracula (1998).
After an impressive effort over the mile today though the Fernhill Handicap winner’s Mornington-based trainer Warren is full of confidence for the Group 1 test.
“If the horse comes through today’s run well we’ll look at running him next week,” Warren said.
“He’s exempt from ballot now for the Champagne Stakes so we might have a throw at the big stumps.
“He’s a horse that needed the run today, he was a bit fresh so that’ll take the edge off him and he’ll run well next week especially if we get a wet track.”
Drawn wide in barrier seven of 10 today, The Barrister had to use up some early speed to get across up to the front.
It looked the best place to be however on the rain-affected track that Bowman, who did the same under similar conditions last Monday for Day 1 of The Championships, described as “quite deep”.
The race proved a stroll in the park for The Barrister, the improving colt coming off a 1500m win at Mornington from March 28 that confirmed his trip to Sydney for the Fernhill.
“He had it at his own leisure in front (today),” Warren said.
“I thought the horse was pretty keen today. He went a bit fierce in the early stages but once he got into a rhythm he let go well late and ran out the mile really strong.
“He really needed to step up at his last start to warrant a trip to Sydney…and he did…he really improved today and we might be tempted to stick around a week.”
After going straight to the lead the horse gave nothing a chance, Bowman’s mount leading from the Gai Waterhouse-trained race favourite Clash Of Clans who was sweating up pre-race.
By the first turn The Barrister had shot away to a clear two length lead over Clash Of Clans while Celtic Diamond rushed up the outside to settle third.
Rhode Assassin meanwhile dropped back into fifth with some nice cover, while the John O’Shea-trained Chachapoyas sweated on a run on the inside.
On the straight Clash Of Clans ($4.20) was under enormous pressure, but Bowman had the first one in the bag with The Barrister ($6.50) racing away to a three length win over the top fancy with $101 roughie Reckless Russell racing up to finish third.
“I jumped on him Thursday and gave him a canter,” Bowman said post-win.
“I got a lot of confidence out of the horse, he’s a beautiful mover.
“I know Jason was very confident.
“I didn’t’ really want to go out and lead (today) but I needed to do that to get into a nice rhythm and it proved a good move.”
Don’t forget Ladbrokes.com.au are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the four upcoming Group 1 features in Sydney today making now the time to get along and lock in the best odds for the autumn classics!
2015 Fernhill Handicap Finishing Order
Randwick Race 1 – 11/04/2015
|1||2||THE BARRISTER||Jason Warren||Hugh Bowman||–||6||58kg||$6.50|
|2||8||CHACHAPOYAS||John O’Shea||James McDonald||2.3L||1||55.5kg||$9|
|3||11||RECKLESS RUSSELL||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Jay Ford||2.7L||3||55.5kg||$101|
|4||6||MUZYKA||Gerald Ryan||Tommy Berry||5.9L||7||55.5kg||$4.60|
|5||3||RHODE ASSASSIN||Anthony Cummings||Tye Angland||6.7L||2||56.5kg||$4.80|
|6||10||SCADDEN’S RUN||Frankie Stockdale||Jason Collett||12.3L||8||55.5kg||$101|
|7||4||EOLANDE||Jamie Edwards & Bruce Elkington||Craig Williams||12.5L||9||56kg||$7|
|8||1||CLASH OF CLANS||Gai Waterhouse||Joao Moreira||13.3L||5||58kg||$4.20F|
|9||7||CELTIC DIAMOND||Scott Singleton||Ms Kathy O’Hara||37.3L||4||55.5kg||$41|
|–||5||ALITTLE LOOSE||Michael Kent||Kerrin McEvoy||–||0||–||–|
|–||9||CRACKLIN’ ROSIE||David Payne||Chad Schofield||–||0||–||–|