Darren Weir is thrilled with the condition of Palentino and is confident the horse is ready to run a big race in Saturday’s Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington Racecourse.
Palentino has only appeared at the races four times competitively, but immediately stamped himself as a colt to follow when debuting for second in the Viatek Maiden Plate (1200m) in late September before breaking through for a maiden race win with a commanding performance in the Ecycle Solutions Maiden Plate (1300m) a fortnight later.
Returning to the paddock after making a successful transition to black type racing in the Listed Hilton Hotels & Resorts Stakes (1400m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the son of Teofilo returned to competition in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) a fortnight ago but was unlucky to be blocked for a run late and finished seventh.
Weir told Racing Ahead that Palentino has taken plenty of benefit from his first-up run and is confident he will be tough to beat in the 2016 CS Hayes Stakes.
“The million dollar question is would he have given it all if he got it? I reckon he would have,” Weir said.
“He’s come through it really well and probably didn’t have a hard-enough run for what I would have liked so we’ve kept him right up to the mark since.
“He’s had two really strong gallops and he’s sort of caught up a little I reckon.
“The barrier draw is perfect, back to Flemington is good and I’m happy with him going into tomorrow.
“If he’s going to be heading onto the Guineas he needs to be powering through the line, unlucky I guess or winning. One of those three he needs to be doing, and hopefully it’s not the unlucky one.”
The CS Hayes Stakes figures as the final point of call on the traditional path towards the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) and has figured as an ideally form indicator through recent seasons.
Palentino has so-far received the greatest market share of bets to win the Group 3 for three-year-olds on Saturday; cutting in from 2016 CS Hayes Stakes odds of $3.50 to currently figure as clear $3.20 favourite and market mover.
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