Fender’s Highway Handicap win has extended his unbeaten record to three which may or may not be a blessing for trainer Brett Cavanough.
With interest in the three-year-old from Hong Kong already high, Cavanough might be farewelling the three-year-old sooner rather than later.
The final day of the autumn carnival at Randwick heralded the return of Highway Handicaps to Sydney Saturday racing after they were suspended during the Country Championship series.
The races are restricted to country-trained horses and the Scone-based Cavanough has spaced Fender’s starts with the gelding having a month between his previous two wins at Muswellbrook.
Ridden by Jason Collett, Fender ($12) overhauled Toro Toro ($4.60 fav) in the straight to win by half a length.
“He is owned by a couple of my really good buddies,” Cavanough said.
“It’s like winning a big one today with that horse. There has been a bit of pressure on me.
“Now we have to fend off Hong Kong.
“I don’t know what we’ll do with him now. Is he a Kosciuszko horse, is he a Hong Kong horse. He could be anything.”
Collett said Fender had a good attitude to racing and relaxed underneath him in the 1200m-race.
“He has a lovely attitude and he has a bit of class about him,” he said.
The jockey said the Randwick track had played well after a week of fine weather which had lifted it out of the heavy range to soft with a possible upgrade to good.
“The track is lovely,” he said. “It’s good to be back on a good surface.”