A horse bought in Europe with a major country Cup in mind has once again proved he is above average with victory in the Group Three Neville Sellwood Stakes at Rosehill.
At the same time, Junoob proved trainer Chris Waller wrong when he handled the wet track better than expected to win the 2000-metre race on Saturday.
Waller said the win could prompt an upgrade of ambitions to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in two weeks now he had raced himself out of owner Richard Pegum’s original thoughts of winning a Wagga Wagga Gold Cup.
After looking in trouble rounding the turn, Junoob ($4.40) stretched out in the straight to beat Sydney Cup-bound Hippopus ($51) by a short neck with Lucky Lago ($17) a half length behind.
Favourite Entirely Platinum ($3.50) finished fourth after sharing the lead with Julienas ($10) who weakened to last of the 11 runners.
“At the 400 (metres) I was really concerned because he didn’t seem to be handling the heavy track,” Waller said.
“And I still don’t think he really handles it but he is a horse with untapped ability.
“The Queen Elizabeth is there but we will look at all options.
“He could go to Brisbane or he could go for a spell.”
Junoob’s jockey Blake Shinn said it was a gutsy effort from the six-year-old.
“He was struggling at the top of the straight but he picked himself up,” he said.
“On dry ground at Randwick he would be even better.”