New Zealand syndication company Go Racing celebrated an exciting metropolitan double in Australia on Saturday.
European import Skyman launched his Australian racing career in perfect fashion, winning the first race at Caulfield by two-and-a-quarter lengths, indicating he has a bright future down under.
“He was really good today,” jockey Damien Thornton said following the benchmark 78 win over a mile.
“He trialled up nice enough to be competitive for this and his work on Tuesday morning was probably the best it’s been so far, so he’s kept on improving up until race day.
“He’s always given me the feeling that he’s going to be a really nice horse so to do that first-up over a mile was really pleasing.”
Trainer Chris Waller was equally pleased with the four-year-old gelding’s performance.
“He’s been with us since December and we’ve taken our time with him,” he said.
“We had confidence that he’d run well but you can never tell how they’ll adapt. Some of these European horses take their time to adapt to our racing and others get straight into it. He’s got straight into it.
“He’s the right type of horse to come through the back door to better races. We’ll just keep placing him through the grades.”
Skyman’s success was particularly satisfying for Go Racing’s Racing Manager Matt Allnutt who purchased the son of Mukhadram for 42,000gns out of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale in October.
“I have to admit that win gave me one of my biggest ever thrills in racing, what an amazing feeling,” said Allnutt, who watched the win from his home in Christchurch, in New Zealand.
Skyman was lightly raced in England wining one and placing in three of his nine starts.
Go Racing have a history of success purchasing European stayers to race with Chris Waller having previously sourced stakes winner Alward, multiple race winners Raqeeq, Sir Pippin and progressive gelding Sayl from Tattersalls sales.
Waller indicated that Skyman is likely to run again in a fortnight at Flemington stepping up from the mile to 2000m, or 1700m.
Later in the day, Stardome racked up the fifth win of his career up in Queensland winning a benchmark 78 handicap over 2000m at Doomben.
The Savabeel gelding showed a great turn of foot to sprint away for a comfortable three-length victory under a great ride from jockey Larry Cassidy.
“He was a very impressive winner today and obviously we were considering pulling him out when the track was downgraded, but I think he was helped by a good ride,” said trainer Chris Waller.
“Larry put him into a nice position, kept him rolling and never gave him a chance to stop. He just kept his momentum up and came away for a very impressive win.”
Waller said he was undecided on when or where his next run would be but he would wait to see how he came through the win in testing conditions before making a decision, although a return to Sydney is possible.
Stardome was purchased out of Haunui Farm’s 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale draft. He was bred by Richard Mopre of Soliloquy Lodge and he is out of a sister to Gr.2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) winning Savabeel mare Floria.
To view a replay of Skyman’s win click here.
To view a replay of Stardome’s win click here.