Guy Walter’s prediction about Straight Albert being a middle-distance horse to be reckoned with was confirmed at stakes level at Warwick Farm on Monday.
Straight Albert ($6.50) continued his march through the grades since joining Walter’s Warwick Farm stable with a gritty win in the $100,000 Tattersalls Club Cup (2095m).
The Listed victory completed a hat-trick of wins for Straight Albert – a sequence which started in the Goulburn Cup in November.
Walter’s disappointment over missing a Villiers Stakes start was tempered when Straight Albert won a support race at the pre-Christmas meeting and Monday’s win justified the trainer’s decision to extend the galloper to 2000m races.
“He gave us the impression racing at a mile that he would be suited to further and it’s nice to see that vindicated today,” Walter said.
Straight Albert sat in third place for jockey Kathy O’Hara before launching his run from the top of the straight.
He looked set for a decisive win until Winning Glory fought back in a dogfight to the finish.
In the end, Straight Albert had a long head to spare over Winning Glory ($6.50) with Legsman ($17) holding down third after making the running.
“Really, he’s gone from strength to strength,” Walter said.
“You saw that today when he got headed and then showed great courage to fight back and win.”
O’Hara, who has been in the saddle for two of Straight Albert’s three wins for Walter, said the four-year-old had felt one of the firmest tracks presented in Sydney for a long time.
“It was a tough effort because he probably wasn’t comfortable in the hard going,” she said.
“I think he was starting to feel the sting a bit in the last 100 metres but he tried his hardest and he really wanted to put his head out.”
Straight Albert is raced by Walcha breeder Brian Turton who sent him to Walter on the back of a promising three-year-old campaign.
“He ran second to (Caulfield Cup placegetter) Tullamore in a race at Scone last season,” Walter said. “He’s a lovely horse who has a lovely temperament.”
Straight Albert will be given a chance to add to his Cups collection.
“He’ll probably head to Gosford now,” Walter said.
The $125,000 Gosford Gold Cup (2100m) is on January 12.
Walter took training honours at Monday’s meeting with a double after Skateboard returned to form in the Vinery Stud Handicap (1300m).
Skateboard ($5.50) made all the running to hold out Newcastle filly Next The Universe in a driving finish.