Press Statement has won a Caulfield Guineas but when it comes to looks, the colt has been an ugly duckling.
Jockey Hugh Bowman and trainer Chris Waller both say the three-year-old, favourite to return a winner in the Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday, wasn’t the finished product last spring.
It’s not what they are saying now.
“He had a beautiful action in the spring but he’s grown into his frame,” Bowman said.
Waller has noticed the same change.
And Sydney’s premier trainer says Press Statement’s physical development is important as he prepares for a campaign initially aimed at the Randwick Guineas.
“He was always a big imposing horse, it was just the frame,” Waller said.
“Now he’s filled into the frame he’s an attractive horse.”
Also a Group One winner as a two-year-old, Press Statement is the class runner in the Hobartville Stakes.
It will be his first start since the Caulfield Guineas in October and after giving him a spin around the track in an exhibition gallop last weekend, Bowman can’t wait to see what the horse produces on race day.
“It was the first time I’ve sat on him this time in when he galloped with Catkins last Saturday,” Bowman said.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how he comes back.”
Waller has covered all bases, nominating Press Statement for targets as broad as the Newmarket Handicap and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
He is also in the Doncaster Mile, although Waller’s real ambitions stretch overseas.
“He’s already a high-profile colt with a big price tag. It’s a matter of enhancing him a little bit more, not over-racing him and maybe looking at a trip to Europe at some stage for him,” he said.
Waller will also saddle up Vanbrugh and Torgersen in the Hobartville.
He expects both to be prominent and is hoping Vanbrugh might develop into his leading three-year-old Doncaster contender.
“He’s just got better and better this horse,” Waller said.
“He won three in a row including a Group One last prep, he’s drawn well on Saturday and he’s in for a very good preparation.
“He’s one I certainly wouldn’t rule out of Doncaster calculations.”