The Chris Waller-trained Higher Ground could target the Queensland Derby in June after taking his record to three wins from seven starts with a strong victory at Warwick Farm.
The colt, the winner of Wednesday’s 1600m-Benchmark 74 Handicap, is owned by Debbie Kepitis who is part of the trio which races champion Winx.
“It’s lovely to have him back in and hopefully he will go on to the Queensland Derby,” owner Debbie Kepitis said.
Higher Ground ($5.50) edged out stablemate Cedarwood by three-quarters of a length with Animalia the same distance away third.
“It is exciting to build these horses up and come to Warwick Farm with the big sales next door. It’s just wonderful. I love it,” Kepitis said.
Stable apprentice Lee Magorrian said the three-year-old would be suited to the step up in distance.
“He’s really going to relish the 2000 to 2400 metres when he steps up over it,” Magorrian said.
“I think it will be right up his alley”.
While Kepitis is thinking about the 2018 Queensland Derby for Higher Ground, she has more immediate concerns with Winx aiming to equal Black Caviar’s record of 25 consecutive wins in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday.
The superstar mare will also rack up Group One win No. 18 if she is successful at Randwick on the second day of The Championships.
“It’s always nerve-wracking leading up to these big races. There is so much pressure on her now. You’re just ever hopeful,” Kepitis said.