Hill Stakes winner Preferment on track for Melbourne Cup

Perferment proved that he is well on track for the Melbourne Cup with a tough grinding win in the Group 2 $200,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick today.

Preferment, white sleeves, gold cap, scores a tough win in the Hill Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Preferment, white sleeves, gold cap, scores a tough win in the Hill Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Today’s win was only Preferment’s second from thirteen starts and his first since winning the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival.

The Chris Waller trained Preferment was sent out at the long odds of $21 but his Melbourne Cup quote is certain be shortened up drastically following his win today.

Winning rider Hugh Bowman had settled Preferment back in the second half of the field and commenced a long sweeping run from the 600m to put the Zabeel four year old into the race on the home turn.

Complacent ($4.20 favourite) set a solid pace and fought on well in the straight to finish third with stablemate Magic Hurricane ($4.80) fighting hard down the middle of the track to grab second spot.

Waller had second thoughts about running Preferment on the rain affected track but decided that he needed to have the run today to have him fit enough to run in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3.

“I was thinking about scratching him today,” Waller said.

“I had a think about it and thought of Bart Cummings, what would he do? He needed to get miles into his legs for these big races so he had to run.”

“Fortunately we have, smart ride by Hugh Bowman, he got going at the right time, a good tough horse in the last hundred metres.”

“He is a genuine stayer. He has big future.”

Bowman was very impressed with the win and said that Preferment would only get better as the distances got longer.

“He is by Zabeel and he has beautiful big strong gait about him, he has a big Spring ahead,” Bowman said

“This is not his ideal ground, He is a real staying type, an exciting animal.

Waller has had another outstanding day with Preferment being his fourth visit to the winner’s stall after wins by Counterattack in the Listed 100,000 Schweppes Heritage Stakes (1100m), Sadler’s Lake in the Group 3 $125,000 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m), Kermadec in the Group 1 $500,000 Colgate Optic White George Main Stakes (1600m).

Hill Stakes results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Starting Price
1 16 PREFERMENT (NZ) Chris Waller Hugh Bowman 11 58kg $21
2 17 MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE) John O’Shea James McDonald 0.2L 4 59kg $4.80
3 1 COMPLACENT John O’Shea Sam Clipperton 1L 10 59kg $4.20F
4 3 BEATEN UP (GB) Chris Waller Glyn Schofield 1.1L 7 59kg $17
5 2 WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ) Chris Waller Blake Shinn 1.3L 12 59kg $4.40
6 9 BONFIRE (GB) Gai Waterhouse Ms Kathy O’Hara 1.5L 6 59kg $18
7 6 GRAND MARSHAL (GB) Chris Waller Jim Cassidy 1.7L 8 59kg $51
8 13 CHANCE TO DANCE (IRE) Robert Hickmott Brenton Avdulla 2L 3 59kg $9
9 18 BOHEMIAN LILY (NZ) Gai Waterhouse Kerrin McEvoy 2.1L 2 56kg $26
10 5 GALLANTE (IRE) Robert Hickmott Tommy Berry 2.3L 9 59kg $21
11 8 OPINION (IRE) Chris Waller Jason Collett 2.7L 5 59kg $41
12 7 JUNOOB (GB) Chris Waller Joshua Parr 3.6L 13 59kg $11
13 11 PRECEDENCE (NZ) James Cummings Tim Clark 7.2L 14 59kg $91
14 14 TREMEC (NZ) John P Thompson Christian Reith 25.2L 1 59kg $101


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