A midweek meeting at Sandown in early winter is a far cry from spring’s Caulfield Guineas.
But jockey Michael Walker is already looking that far ahead with Fighting Harada after the colt’s victory in the Clanbrooke Racing Handicap for three-year-old colts and geldings on Wednesday.
Walker won the Caulfield Guineas for trainer Mick Price on Mighty Boss last year and thinks Fighting Harada has the potential to give the pair a second win in the Group One Caulfield Guineas.
But Walker said the colt still has to get his mind right ahead of tackling some of Australia’s best three-year-olds in the spring.
Sent off the $3.20 favourite, Fighting Harada scored by 1-3/4 lengths from Zoutori ($9.50) with Real Success ($9.50) a half-length away third.
“The penny is still far from dropping but if he keeps going the way he’s going he might make a Guineas horse,” Walker said.
“I hit the front too early but when I did ask him to go he dropped them in a stride.
“I probably didn’t have to be as hard as I was on him in the last furlong but when he got to the front he started floating, the same as he did last time.”
Wednesday’s win was Fighting Harada’s second in succession following a maiden victory at Sale last month when he sent off an odds-on favourite.
Walker said he was making a liar of him after recommending the colt wear blinkers.
“The first time I sat on him and galloped him I said he needed blinkers,” Walker said.
“He ran super in them at Ballarat but then Jake Noonan rode him first-up at Caulfield and he got pulling on him so Mick took the blinkers off.
“I got back on him at Sale and led on him and he won well but I thought he was pulling up in front. But he’s always given us the feel of a horse that is really talented.
“Looking at him physically he’s the most outstanding horse out there but mentally he’s not there yet.”
Walker and Price later completed a double when Layel took out the Clanbrooke Racing Handicap for three-year-old fillies.