One of last season’s leading two-year-olds Ingratiating has made a triumphant return in his three-year-old year with an impressive victory at Caulfield.
Having his first outing since finishing third in the Golden Slipper at Rosehill, Ingratiating came from last on the home turn to take out the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) on Saturday.
It was an explosive victory from the son of Frosted and a performance that will have Godolphin, trainer James Cummings and jockey Damien Oliver eagerly looking forward to the bigger spring races.
A $3.20 chance in betting, Ingratiating scored by a length from General Beau ($5.50) with the $2.30 favourite Generation a short-head away third.
Oliver, who partnered Ingratiating in five of the colt’s seven starts as a two-year-old, said Ingratiating had thickened up since his juvenile year.
Ingratiating had done most of his work in New South Wales preparing for his return and arrived in Victoria earlier in the week.
“It’s not easy for them when they’ve had a busy two-year-old season as sometimes they don’t get the break,” Oliver said.
Ingratiating is the second Godolphin colt to win the Vain Stakes in three years with Bivouac scoring a 4-¼ length win in 2019.
Oliver said Ingratiating looked a sprinting type, suited between 1200 and 1400 metres.
“There has always been very little between him and Anamoe,” Oliver said.
“I’ve actually felt this horse is probably a little bit more precocious than Anamoe.
“Anamoe as you saw when he got to the 1400 metres he really came into his own but I’ve always had a lot of time for this horse.”
With a strong record up the Flemington straight, Sean Keogh, the Melbourne representative for Cummings, said the Group 1 Coolmore Stakes would not be out of the question for Ingratiating.
“He is two from three down the Flemington straight and that is a good key to have in your arsenal,” Keogh said.
“I’m sure the way he won today, the guys will be very impressed and we can take it from there.”