Chris Waller’s four-time Group 1 winner Preferment produced a perfect early spring trial on Monday morning at Rosehill tracking nicely towards his first-up run in next month’s Chelmsford Stakes 2016.
The five-year-old Zabeel stallion had Hugh Bowman aboard in the 1030m hit-out where he crossed third behind Caped Crusader and Excess Knowledge, closing nicely late in his second trial this time in.
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained duo who finished one-two in the heat were both pushed to the line, while Bowman gave Preferment an easier time giving the horse the chance to improve on his seventh over the same track / distance in an earlier trial from August 2.
Preferment resumed last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival with a disappointing 12th as a $101 shot behind Complacent in the $250,000 Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).
Waller has the same starting point pencilled in this season on September 3 at Royal Randwick.
The galloper won the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) second-up last spring before heading to Melbourne for a narrow victory over stablemate Royal Descent in the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington Racecourse.
Preferment also enjoyed two elite level wins in the autumn winning the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington and the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) over the mile and a half at Rosehill in March.
He will defend his Turnbull Stakes title this season with the Yellowglen-sponsored showdown to take place on Sunday October 2 over the AFL Grand Final long weekend in Melbourne.
If successful Preferment will become the first back-to-back Turnbull Stakes winner since Vo Rogue (1987-88).
Preferment was originally one of nine nominations taken for this Saturday’s $250,000 Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) where Waller dominated the entries with five hopefuls.
He will be saved for the Chelmsford Stakes instead, however Waller will still have a strong hand in the Warwick with the return of superstar mare Winx, Vanbrugh, Who Shot Thebarman and Grand Marshal.
Along with six-time Group 1 winner Winx, the other standout Warwick Stakes hopeful for the weekend is the Kris Lees-trained Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Lucia Valentina.
Winx shoots for her ninth consecutive win, but early money is coming in for Lucia Valentina to beat her home first-up at Randwick on Saturday.
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