Caulfield Guineas the Target for Bill Stutt Stakes Winner Sovereign Nation

David Hayes and Tom Dabernig appear to have unearthed a particularly exciting prospect Sovereign Nation after the three-year-old produced an impressive turn of foot in the final straight at Moonee Valley this evening to take out the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m).

Sovereign Nation was too good for his rivals in the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley this evening. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Sovereign Nation was too good for his rivals in the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley this evening. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Jumping from the gates fairly, jockey Michael Walker elected to settle Sovereign Nation off the pace of early leaders Loyalty Man, Admirabeel and Ragnaar who flew the gates and ensured noticeable pace would be injected into the Stutt Stakes early.

Pressing forward at the bend, Walker peeled the Encosta De Lago colt off the fence and found a gap between runners four wide rounding onto the final straight; the colt immediately responding when asked for an extra effort and hitting he line comfortably in the clear of a fast-finishing Get The Picture; Gredington boxing on for third.

Walker delivered a polished performance aboard Sovereign Nation for success in the 2015 Bill Stutt Stakes but revealed it was not all smooth sailing through the 1600m event.

“He’s a very good horse,” Walker said after crossing the line.

“He was sent to us in beautiful condition and he really knew what he was doing.

“I didn’t want to go when I did but a horse came around and pressured me and I didn’t want to get muddled up.

“I think he’s untapped. The horse doesn’t even know he’s run a race; he’s really quiet but David and Tom and staff have done a tremendous job and I’m happy I’m the bloke on him.”

David Hayes was thrilled with Sovereign Nation’s performance for success in the Bill Stutt Stakes and confirmed the colt will progress to an appearance in the 2015 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) next weekend.

“He had no luck the other day,” Hayes said.

“Michael presented him at the right time today – he might have gone a little early but he’s got lovely improvement in him and I’m sure he’ll be a factor as the spring goes on.

“I know Gerry Harvey is keen if he pulls up well to run in the Guineas and I’m even more keen.

“So we’ll definitely head to the Guineas. It’s a really stallion-making race the Guineas and this is a lovely stepping-stone into it.

“After that we’ll work out which way we’ll go.”

Sovereign Nation lined up for only his third career start in the Bill Stutt Stakes; returning to the winner’s circle for the second time.

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