A trip to Sydney this summer is likely for the Beaudesert-based Chillin With Dylan with trainer Ben Ahrens keen to target the Christmas Cup 2016 with the in-form four-year-old at Royal Randwick.
One of the key support races on the December 12 program for Villiers Stakes Day, this year’s $100,000 Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) is shaping up as a nice staying option for Ahrens’ progressive Dylan Thomas four-year-old.
He took his record to four wins from 20 starts on November 28 over the weekend at Doomben Racecourse when regular rider Ryan Wiggins guided him to a smart two and a quarter-length victory over Rock The Pac in the $65,000 Club 100 BenchMark 75 Handicap (2200m).
That was his longest distanced win to date and has Ahrens believing him capable of a step up in both class and distance for the Sydney black-type over the mile and a half in a fortnight’s time.
“We had a bit of luck today when the field broke up when Grappa Bandy looked to break down but I won’t make a decision until I see how he pulls up,” Ahrens said post-win on Saturday.
“He’ll need his rating to go up and it’ll need to shoot up quite a bit to warrant going to Sydney.”
Before the metro Saturday win at Doomben, Chillin With Dylan raced in the Listed Recognition Stakes (1600m) only seven days earlier when beaten under three lengths crossing fifth to the winner Traveston Girl in the mile feature.
He showed a liking for extra metres winning on the quick back-up in his first run over the 2200m since his 10th to Magicool in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) as a three-year-old back in June during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
The Derby run, where he was still only defeated three and a quarter lengths after a tough run from the outside barrier 16 of 16, he was competitive in a host of winter lead-ups.
He ran third in late April behind Worthy Cause in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1800m) before back-to-back Brisbane fourths.
The first was to Sadler’s Lake on May 9 in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) and then he crossed only one and a half lengths away fourth again this time to Upham as a $41 outsider in betting for the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2020m).
Last year’s Christmas Cup winner was the Chris Waller-trained mare Saigon Tea who hasn’t raced since and who came off a lead-up win at Rosehill over 1800m.
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