Trafalgar has had to fight hard for his first metropolitan win at Canterbury but it is that determination which has convinced his trainer he can be a Group One contender.
The three-year-old knuckled down in the final few metres of Wednesday’s Cellarbrations Handicap (1900m) to beat Godolphin colt Unbiased by a short half head.
Chris Waller said the Queensland Derby in June was the most likely target for Trafalgar who won a provincial maiden at Kembla Grange and ran second at Randwick at his previous two starts.
“He could just as easily have won three in a row,” Waller said.
“That’s what good horses do. They either win or come second and he is a good horse in the making.
“It’s great to be able to educate them and see the results and see him finish his races off like he does.
“I think he is a Derby horse but the Australian Derby will probably come too soon.
“The likely program would be to give him one more start and then set him for the Queensland Derby in June.
“I don’t think 2400 metres will be beyond him.”
Trafalgar is a Hinchinbrook brother to 2007 Underwood Stakes winner Rubiscent and races in the colours of Denise Martin’s Star Thoroughbreds syndicate.
The purple and white silks were to the fore again on Wednesday when Trafalgar’s stablemate Spiritos won over 1550m.
Spiritos had 1-1/4 lengths to spare over the Waller-trained Miss Denni.
The trainer said there were no lofty ambitions for Spiritos other than to win more races.
“It is always hard to beat older horses so it was a good win,” he said.
“He is a good off-season horse and if we place him right he can be a good money spinner for the stable.”
It was the second win from seven starts for Spiritos who has finally put things together after a few wayward performances which have earned him several mentions in stewards’ reports.