Strong winds grounded owner John Singleton’s helicopter but they couldn’t stop his colt This Is Australia from making a flying start to his racetrack career at Canterbury on Wednesday.
A half-brother to Group One-winning stallion All American, This Is Australia defied all efforts to run him down in the Mossman @ Vinery Handicap (1100m).
Jim Cassidy’s first ride after a winter freshen up, This Is Australia has been earmarked for bigger races after growing problems kept him away from the racetrack as a juvenile.
Trainer Clarry Conners was relieved to see the three-year-old get the job done on debut and doesn’t plan to wait long to test his theory This Is Australia is capable of winning better races.
“I’ve tried to downgrade him a little bit because I do have a great opinion of him,” Conners said.
“We’ll keep him to sprinting and the Coolmore Stud Stakes is his aim.”
This Is Australia will run next in the Listed Heritage Stakes at Randwick is likely to have one more start in Sydney before heading to Melbourne to join stablemate Dear Demi who is on the Caulfield Cup trail.
Conners has had many outstanding horses, including Pins and Encounter who he moulded into stallions, and admits he is excited by the challenge of doing likewise with This Is Australia.
“I know his potential and what he’s worth to John (Singleton) if he keeps going. He’s worth a lot of money,” Conners said.
“It’s my job to make a stallion of him.”
Singleton, who is based on the NSW central coast, had hoped to be at Canterbury but his racing manager Duncan Grimley said the blustery conditions had put paid to his plans to fly to the races.
This Is Australia was a drifter in betting but late support ensured he started a $2.90 favourite.
He staved off the fast-finishing Avonaco by a long head with Magwitch another short neck away third.