In a tantalising preview to the Group One Spring Champion Stakes, Complacent has come out on top at Rosehill on Saturday to stake his claims in two weeks.
The colt from the Darley operation made a huge leap from a maiden win at Hawkesbury earlier this month to score a narrow win in the Group Three Gloaming Stakes (1800m).
A son of 2007 English Derby winner Authorized who stood his 2013 season in Chile after four springs in Australia, Complacent ($9) fought hard to hold off favourite Savvy Nature ($3) with second elect Drago ($3.70) another 2-3/4 lengths third.
Trainer Peter Snowden said he had always had a big opinion of Complacent’s ability and would also send Shikra, who finished ninth, to Randwick for the Spring Champion Stakes in two weeks.
“He is still very raw but he has a lot of potential and a lot of quality about him,” Snowden said.
“I said after his second start he would be a carnival horse.
“His win at Hawkesbury showed he was on the right track.
“Obviously we will assess him over the next few days but the plan is the Spring Champion.”
The 2008 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) won by Sousa was Snowden’s first Group One win for Sheikh Mohammed after the Dubai ruler bought Bob Ingham’s Woodlands operation earlier that year.
Kerrin McEvoy, who was aboard Complacent, said the colt did everything right.
“It was a big step up in grade and it was good to see him relax like a stayer should,” he said.
“He got into a lovely rhythm and made the improvement we thought he would from Hawkesbury.”
Although Complacent is entered for the Victoria Derby, Snowden said that was unlikely while rival trainer Anthony Cummings was adamant the Classic would be Drago’s race.
“His run was fine,” Cummings said.
“He had to make a long run from an awkward spot and he peaked on his run inside the final furlong (200m).
“”But he’s on track for the Spring Champion and the Victoria Derby.”
Savvy Nature’s trainer John O’Shea was ruing his charge’s outside barrier after the race.
“We had to go that far back from the wide draw and make a long run,” he said.