Talented two-year-old El Greco showed he can measure up to much stronger races after a dominant victory in the opening race at Flemington on Saturday.
The Peter Moody-prepared gelding, who started a $2.70 favourite, had a class edge on his rivals, sitting just behind the speed before pushing clear in the straight and cruising away to beatAlamonteel ($7.50) by three-and-a-half lengths.
It was the win of a smart type and races like the Sandown Guineas could be on the agenda for El Greco next campaign.
“It’s possible those kind of races will suit,” Moody’s racing manager Jeff O’Connor said.
“Straight away I thought he could be a miler over summer.
“He’s got it written all over him. We’re going to have a lot of fun with him.”
El Greco has exceeded expectations for his first preparation, with two strong wins and a second to the promising Prince of Brooklyn in the VOBIS Gold Elvstroem Classic.
O’Connor gave the team at home a lot of credit for holding him together.
“He’s going to need a break at some stage - he’s still maturing and that’s the whole key to this prep,” he said.
“We didn’t just want to tip him out with no race experience.
“We’ve got the race experience and we’ve got the bonus of seeing the ability so there’s plenty there down the track, we’ve just got to be patient.”
Jockey Luke Nolen picked up the ride on El Greco after regular rider Daniel Stackhouse was unsuccessful in his appeal against a careless riding charge on Friday.
The premiership-winning hoop hasn’t had a lot to do with son of Artie Schiller, but was impressed.
“He didn’t give me much of a feel early in the straight but when I put one behind the saddle, he really lengthened nicely,” Nolen said.
“He might measure up to better than off-season class too on that win.
“The seven furlongs, he seemed to eat that right up and I reckon he might want it a bit further.”