Chris Waller has welcomed back Mackintosh to racing in the best way possible confirming an Epsom Handicap target second-up for the galloper on the back of his resuming win in the Theo Marks Stakes 2016 at Rosehill Racecourse.
A quality field of top-class sprinters lined-up in the $200,000 Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) on Golden Rose Stakes Day including two from the star stables of Waller.
Waller had two new-season four-year-olds in the mix with Counterattack shorter in betting than stablemate Mackintosh who hadn’t raced since finishing dead last to Eagle Way in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) in Brisbane on June 11.
The Pins gelding however showed terrific ability first-up at a sprinting distance to post his sixth win at his ninth career start, re-entering the winner’s stall for his shortest victory to date.
During the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival Mackintosh took out the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) – Group 2 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) double at Doomben before the Derby failure, the Theo Marks Stakes his first Sydney run since a Hawkesbury win in late April.
He had Brazilian hoop Joao Moreira aboard first-up, the ‘Magic Man’ coming off a second the start before on Omei Sword in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) behind Astern.
It was Oxford Poet who headed the Theo Marks Stakes early up on the rails leading the field around from Vashka on the outside.
Team Snowden’s in-form mare Tycoon Tara settled up into third, while the in-form favourite Southern Legend sat fourth in running having won his past four starts in easier company.
Mackintosh meanwhile was tracking just off the front pack on the outside, being saved for a late run.
Southern Legend hugged the rails as they turned for home, looking for the run on the straight and just squeezing through.
Tycoon Tara and Mackintosh were also coming with their runs, with Waller’s Coolmore Stud Stakes placegetter from last Melbourne Cup Carnival Counterattack surging late.
Mackintosh ($9.50) at the longer odds held off his stablemate however with Counterattack second in an all-Waller Theo Marks Stakes quinella, while ($4) the beaten favourite Southern Legend ($3) crossed a brave third.
Still green, Mackintosh did plenty wrong but still won and looked set to improve over his campaign.
“He’s still very green…he’s done a lot of things wrong but has a lot of ability at the same time,” winning hoop Moreira said.
“He feels like the longer he gets it’s going to be better for him.”
After failing to get a proper grasp over the young horse’s genuine ability as a stayer in the Queensland Derby, Waller said they were training him as a miler and planned a next-up run at Royal Randwick on October 1 in the $1 million Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
“He’s been a good horse,” Waller said of Mackintosh.
“He’s a horse with talent.
“Mile was always the plan second-up in the Epsom.
“We knew he’d be suspect in the Derby and he struck a track he didn’t appreciate.
“I think a mile will be perfect for him.”
Waller has won the past three editions of the Epsom Handicap including last year with his super star mare Winx (2015) on the back of her Theo Marks Stakes victory.
Check out the price on Mackintosh in futures Epsom Handicap 2016 betting online now at Ladbrokes.com.au!
2016 Theo Marks Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 7 – 10/09/2016
|1||7||MACKINTOSH (NZ)||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||–||6||53kg||$9|
|2||5||COUNTERATTACK||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||0.2L||2||55.5kg||$4|
|3||9||SOUTHERN LEGEND||Les Bridge||Tim Clark||0.7L||3||53kg||$3F|
|4||4||TYCOON TARA||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||0.9L||7||56.5kg||$10|
|5||10||SNOOPY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jason Collett||2.6L||9||53kg (cd 53.5kg)||$17|
|6||1||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Tommy Berry||5.2L||1||59kg||$8.50|
|7||6||OXFORD POET||Kim Waugh||Jay Ford||6.3L||4||54.5kg||$21|
|8||2||MESSENE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||6.6L||8||58.5kg||$31|
|9||8||OLD NORTH||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||8.3L||5||53kg||$8|
|10||3||VASHKA||John O’Shea||James McDonald||9.9L||10||58.5kg||$21|