The Mick Price-trained Dominant Future has revived hopes that he can measure up to better-class races after landing the Silver Bowl Series Final at Flemington.
Price’s assistant trainer Mick Nolan said Dominant Future was running out of chances to find form but would now be given his opportunity to make the grade as a stayer.
Price had hoped the gelding would be an Australian Guineas horse in the autumn but aborted his campaign and gelded him after he finished last in Flemington’s Group Three CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) in February.
Nolan said he feared Dominant Future ($16) had done too much work in the run on Saturday when Peter Mertens had him racing wide, but his stamina won out at the finish.
In the closing stages of the 1600-metre event the son of Pins lunged to snatch a head win over pacemaker Galileo Gold ($21) with Captura ($5) a length away third.
“This was judgment day,” Nolan said.
He said Dominant Future looked to have a bright future when he was second to Sandown Guineas placegetter Chasse on debut at Geelong last September.
He also won at Seymour and was placed behind Do Ra Mi and Broadcast at Sandown in the autumn before his Hayes Stakes failure forced connections to reassess him.
“We thought he may have been an Australian Guineas horse then he went terrible at Flemington so we gelded him,” Nolan said.
He said an inglorious performance first-up this campaign on a heavy track at Moonee Valley did little to inspire confidence but he was given his chance on Saturday after making good ground to finish third on the synthetic track at Geelong on June 24.
Nolan said Dominant Future appeared to be field shy and giving him plenty of galloping room could be the key to him.
“He is sort of a big sook of a horse who doesn’t like racing inside horses,” Nolan said.
“He got to the line well today and we were happy with the way he toughed it out.
“I think he is a 10 furlong (2000m) horse and we will press on now and see what happens.”