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Ability has carried the colours of former prominent owner Phil Sly to victory
Image: Quentin Lang

Aptly named Ability has carried the colours of former prominent owner Phil Sly to victory at Moonee Valley.

Ability was having his first run in Saturday’s Cafetto Handicap (1000m) following a long break when the four-year-old was gelded and had bone chips removed from his knee.

Providing Craig Williams with the second leg of a winning double, Ability ($5) charged home to score by a length from Orujo ($26) with Core Beach ($12) 1-1/4 lengths away third.

A long time supporter of the Robert Smerdon stable, Sly died after a long battle with cancer in April last year.

Smerdon said the majority of Sly’s bloodstock had been sold off and Ability was the only one still racing in his colours.

“The estate might have a share in a few horses but this is one he owned outright,” Smerdon said.

“The family said keep him as he (Sly) always liked him.

“He’s still got his name in the book, the Estate of, and he still carries his colours.

“It’s a nice memory.”

Smerdon said the gelding of Ability might prove to be the making of the four-year-old.

He said Sly always held a dream that one of his colts would one day make a stallion.

“This horse, his head wasn’t in the right space,” Smerdon said.

“At the end of his last prep he had a chip removed and while he was out he was gelded.

“He was out for quite a long time and I reckon he’s grown two inches.

“He’s a talented horse that probably has his head in the right spot now.”

Smerdon said he will take his time with Ability and believes the gelding will be best suited remaining over a short course.

“I think he’s a 1000-metre, 1100-metre run-on sprinter that may stretch to 1200 metres,” he said.

 
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