Victorian visitor Sea Galleon scored the most important win of his career so far when he downed the best off-season stayers in Sydney in the Listed Christmas Cup.
Saturday’s 2400m race was a fact-finding mission for co-trainer Cindy Alderson who wanted to test him in the clockwise direction having been assured by his track riders he would go better that way than he did at home.
The five-year-old came to Rosehill off two wins in Melbourne and was sent out the $3.10 favourite.
But things didn’t go to plan with Glyn Schofield having to make a move sooner than he wanted due to a lack of pace.
“It was stop start, stop start, they couldn’t have gone any slower,” Schofield said.
The jockey took matters into his own hands and steered Sea Galleon wide around the field before the home turn and took over from Nextanix ($10) in the lead.
He put three or four lengths on his nearest rival and still had a length to spare over Nextanix on the line despite having to use up his energy getting to the front.
“Glyn had to go when he did otherwise he was going to be in a bad spot,” Alderson said.
“He had no choice and the horse stuck it out well.
“This was a mission to see how he went right-handed.
“He didn’t corner as well as I would have liked but having to go wide didn’t help.
“He was tough and strong.”
Sea Galleon was placed in the 2010 South Australian Derby but was given almost a year off when his form tapered off.
“We just raced him in races that were beyond him so we gave him a good break and started again,” Alderson said.
Alderson, who trains in partnership with her father Colin, said her preference was to take Sea Galleon home to Cranbourne and not be tempted by the Summer Cup on Boxing Day.
“I’d like to give him a break now and bring him back in the autumn,” she said.
“He will be entered for the Sydney Cup but whether he’s a Group One horse just yet, I don’t know.
“But there are certainly races for him in the autumn.”
The disappointment of the race was Strike One ($10) who was on the pace early but weakened to beat just one runner home, finishing 21-1/2 lengths from the winner.