An unorthodox European-style preparation has paid off with Hush Writer who has proven his staying credentials with a first-up win over 2400 metres in the W J McKell Cup at Rosehill.
The gelding, trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, appreciated a strong tempo set by New Zealander Our Big Mike in Saturday’s Listed race.
Bott deferred to Waterhouse’s judgment, saying she had sourced Hush Writer from Japan as a foal before sending him to France for his early racing.
“We wouldn’t be able to do that without Gai,” Bott said.
“She picked him out as a foal in Japan. They wouldn’t think twice about racing over 2400 metres first-up overseas.”
James Innes jr produced Hush Writer ($21 ) from third rounding the turn and he strode to the front and held off an army of Chris Waller-trained stayers.
High Bridge ($19) came closest, finishing a short neck second with favourite Girl Tuesday ($2.80) another half neck third.
The Waller-trained Abdon and Black On Gold ran fourth and fifth in one of the few staying races in Sydney the stable has yet to win.
Innes jr, who can ride comfortably at the 53kg Hush Writer carried, took advantage of the opportunity to ride for Tulloch Lodge and said the race was a new experience.
“It’s the first time I’ve ridden a horse first-up over a trip like that and he never felt like the trip was going to be an issue,” he siad.
“I didn’t have to touch his mouth at all in the run and on straightening I had a lap full. Full credit to all involved.
Our Big Mike dropped off to eventually beat just one horse home .
“It’s unfortunate for the connections to come all this way and for him to perform below par,” jockey Sam Weatherley said.
Hush Writer, who was Group Two placed over 2400 metres in France, had a four-start spring campaign in Victoria with his best performances second over 2500m at Flemington and third in the Listed Ansett Stakes (2400m) at Mornington.
But his nervous demeanour prompted connections to geld him before his Sydney preparation.
After failing to put speed into his legs on a traditional Australian preparation, Waterhouse and Bott gave him three barrier trials and a race day gallop to get him ready for his first-up assignment.