In-form galloper Bolton will miss this month’s Mornington Cup despite winning the Reaan Plate at Caulfield.
Trainer Stephen Brown was hoping to run the Zabeel five-year-old in the 2400m Cup on February 15 but scrapped the idea after jockey Nick Hall dismounted on Saturday and told him the gelding would struggle at the distance.
“Everyone is saying run him in the Mornington Cup but 2400 metres is beyond him and we don’t want to stuff him up,” Brown said.
A last start 1700-metre winner at Flemington January 21, Bolton was on trial at 2000 metres on Saturday.
After dashing clear half way up the straight he held on to beat the fast finishing Montgomery by three-quarters of a length with Royal Mail another 1-3/4 lengths away third.
Brown said he would look at options for Bolton, including the Group Two St George Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 25.
Brown hasn’t ruled out the $1 million Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10 as a possibility.
Bolton is not nominated for the Australian Cup but connections can pay a $55,000 late entry which is due by March 5.
“He’s going really well and we know he can run the distance now,” Brown said.
Brown had targeted last year’s Darwin Cup (2000m) with Bolton but he was first emergency and didn’t get to run.