The 2015 Caulfield Guineas in October could prove a potential Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival target for Tom Hughes’ progressive colt Black Vanquish should he show the ability to stay.
Hughes is singing the son of Lonhro, who turns three on Saturday and is raced by the Wittenbury family, plenty of praises before he kicks off his spring campaign following the youngster’s top autumn form last preparation.
A winner of two of his three starts, the horse improved on a failed 11th on debut behind Of The Brave in the Group 3 Blue Diamond (C&G) Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield in mid-February to win his next two runs.
The first was over 1200m down the Flemington straight on April 11 where he defeated My Poppette by two lengths, before he stepped back up to black-type company to win the Listed Redoute’s Choice Stakes (1200m) last time out in early May.
Now the colt’s Group 1 winning trainer Hughes, who labelled Black Vanquish the best horse he has trained to date, is planning to up his work at Flemington over the coming weeks before he returns to race conditions.
“He’s grown, put on some weight and matured physically and mentally,” Hughes told Racenet.
“I haven’t asked him to do much yet but what he has done has been nice.
“He did some evens this morning, just quickened a bit the last two and did it lovely.”
There was the option of a Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign with the juvenile, but Hughes instead saved him and sent him for a spell before coming back in the spring for the majors in Melbourne.
Hughes confirmed two jumpouts for Black Vanquish before his first-up run in the $200,000 Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) down the Flemington straight on September 12.
After that the horse’s performances will guide his next-up runs and Hughes confirmed the $500,000 Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) over the mile on October 10 could make a nice aim.
“He had a good spell,” Hughes said.
“The plan is to have two jumpouts and then first-up in the Danehill where Patrick Moloney will ride.
“We’ll be guided by how he goes there as to what direction we take with him.
“There’s the Caulfield Guineas but I think he has the potential to be a very strong sprinter.”
If he goes down the shorter-distance sprint path with Black Vanquish, the obvious end of preparation assignment would be the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Victoria Derby Day, October 31.
Hughes pointed at the sprinting pedigree of the bloodline as a query as to whether the colt would run out a strong mile to warrant the Guineas campaign.
“The family are mainly sprinters, which just makes me wonder about him at a mile, but we’ll see,” he said.
“There is no need to over race him in the spring. He’s never been hurt and we’ve looked after him.
“I think he’s the best horse I’ve had. Before he won he’d shown me every bit as much as Delago Brom and Titanic Jack and I haven’t changed my opinion.”
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