Trainer Ken Keys will consider giving two-year-old Al Passem a crack at a stakes race at his next start after the colt made the step to city class at Caulfield to remain unbeaten.
Al Passem won at Wangaratta on debut and Keys was surprised there wasn’t more attention on the colt going into Saturday’s Bill Collins Handicap (1100m) for which he was sent out a $13 chance with Sportsbet in his second start.
“He wasn’t regarded by too many at all,” Keys said.
“I’m not sure if people really had a good look at his win at Wangaratta. We thought it was a sensational win.”
After settling just off the leader Easy Beast on Saturday, Al Passem was forced to dig deep in the straight to fight back and defeat Redcore in a head-bobbing finish.
Redcore had made a sweeping move around the home turn to fit the front narrowly early in the straight, but Al Passem rallied and got his head down at the right time.
Al Passem beat Redcore by a nose, with 1-1/4 lengths to Easy Beast third.
Keys described Al Passem as a true professional and indicated the Listed Redoute’s Choice Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in two weeks was an option.
“We won’t put a line through at this stage, but we’ll certainly look forward to his three-year-old year,” Keys said.
“He’s a true professional.”
Al Passem was ridden by apprentice Ben Thompson who was also aboard the colt in his debut win and has ridden him in trackwork.
“He’s a beauty,” Thompson said.
“He’s a colt with a really good attitude and it’s great to get a metropolitan win next to his name so early in his career.”