Splendid Honours might kindly be referred to as a slow maturer.
He took 11 starts to win his first race in the country, 18 to win his first at the provincials and on Saturday at Rosehill he will chase his maiden city success in the Group Three Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) – at start number 32.
“He took his time improving but once we’ve gotten him up over a bit of ground he really hasn’t run a bad race,” trainer Paul Perry said.
“He always gave the indication that he stayed well and a couple of his runs have been real nice.”
Splendid Honours might not have won in town yet but he has signalled his staying ability with some handy performances.
He was runner-up to Reuben Percival in the Stayer’s Cup (3200m) at Rosehill in June and has also managed placings at Canterbury and Randwick.
Having his first test in black-type company last start, Splendid Honours made ground to finish sixth to Green Moon in the Group Three Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m), beaten 2-1/4 lengths.
That was enough for Perry to step him up to Saturday’s Colin Stephen.
“I thought his run at Newcastle was really good so we decided to press on,” Perry said.
“If there is any wet weather around it will suit him.
“I’m sure he will run a nice race. He is the sort of horse that always puts in.”
A backmarker, Splendid Honours will be on trial for a start in the Group One Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday week.
Perry won the staying feature three years ago with $41 outsider Newport, who has recently been retired.
Newport went on to the Melbourne Cup and finished 10th to Viewed and Splendid Honours also retains an entry for the first Tuesday in November this year.
“It’s one of those things, you put them in in case they come up in one of these races,” Perry said.
Splendid Honours will be one of two runners for Perry at Rosehill along with experienced campaigner Prince Braeman in the Myer Spring Racing Fashion Hcp (1350m).