A big trial win at Cranbourne on Monday has local trainer Pat Hyland hopeful his smart colt Lizard Island can develop into a Caulfield Guineas 2015 contender this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The rising three-year-old son of Sebring kicked off his career back in April at Caulfield Racecourse with a second on debut behind smart Adelaide galloper Caro Kann over 1100m before a trip to Flemington.
He stepped up to black-type company in his second run and finished runner-up again this time behind My Poppette when beaten a length in the Listed Anzac Day Stakes (1400m) before being turned out for a spell.
Lizard Island obviously enjoyed the break and showed maturity in his 760m trial on the synthetic Cranbourne track this week, jockey Chris Parnham guiding him to an easy two and three-quarter length victory over Mark Riley’s Royalic in 44.47 seconds – the fastest time of the morning.
“He gave me a really good feel,” Parnham said.
“He’s got ability – he showed that last prep with two seconds.
“He does feel a bit stronger than he was last prep so no doubt he’s got improvement.
“He’s been placed in a Listed race, obviously he’s still a maiden and he needs to break that first but I think there’s no doubt he’ll be up to the black-type level.”
The hitout was exactly what Hyland was hoping to see from his up-and-comer, a horse he hopes can develop into a Group 1 type to replace his recently retired 2014 Myer Classic winning mare Bonaria.
“He did all that I wanted him to do,” Hyland told Racing Victoria after the youngster’s trail success.
“I told the young fella [Parnham] not to knock him about because it’s his first real hit-out but I’m really pleased with him and looking forward to the spring.
“He’s a good looker – he’s a pretty nice horse.
“We’re hoping that this one will take her [Bonaria’s] place.
“He’s given me every indication that he will.
“Those races were nice races that he ran in – and he ran well in them.
“I think he’ll improve a lot on his trial today and whether I give him another trial or just go to a race in the bush somewhere – he’s got to start off somewhere.”
If Lizard Island progresses well this coming campaign, HylaHyland will consider aiming him at the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) over the mile on October 10.
“It would be terrible to win it, wouldn’t it?,” Hyland, who has had two previous Caulfield Guineas starters who both finished out of the money, joked.
“It’s a nice race, but that’s a long way away.
“I’m hoping he’ll measure up to the good races, but we’ve got to work our way up to there.
“If you can’t win a couple of ordinary ones, then he’s not going to get a run in the good ones.”
Hyland is also looking at a Caulfield Guineas campaign with Magnus colt Gredington following the Group 2 performed galloper’s Warrnambool win this month in the wet.
Gredington has had six starts for two wins to date and also ran a brave fourth behind Jameka in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington back in March as a 12/1 shot.
Other notable Caulfield Guineas bound youngsters this spring include the John O’Shea-trained duo Tarquin and Moher, All American gelding Green Card who posted a four length victory at Caulfield this month and star colt Pride Of Dubai.
Peter & Paul Snowden’s son of Street Cry Pride Of Dubai is a dual Group 1 champion who has amassed over $1.3 million in prize money to date thanks to the Blue Diamond Stakes – Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes double he completed in the autumn.
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