A week after the return of Cox Plate winner Winx, her stablemate Press Statement has stamped his class on the Hobartville Stakes.
The $2 favourite for Saturday’s Group Two Hobartville (1400m), Press Statement tracked the leaders before cruising to the lead in the straight.
In a couple of strides, the Caulfield Guineas winner exerted his authority on his rivals with Hugh Bowman guiding him to the line 2-1/4 lengths ahead of Le Romain ($19) with Montaigne making ground from back in the field to finish third, another 1-1/4 lengths away.
Trainer Chris Waller said it might have looked easy for the colt, but it wasn’t always that simple.
“He’s got class and he shows that,” Waller said.
“But I’m very mindful he is a high-profile colt and it does put the pressure on.
“It’s the trainer’s job not to bugger it up.”
Press Statement jumped from barrier eight in the 13-horse field, a gate his trainer said made it awkward.
“Barrier eight is never easy but he switches off and settles like the professional horse he is.
“But like it is with Winx, it looks very easy but it’s not always.
“Good horses make things happen.”
Bowman is in the enviable position as the regular rider of both Winx and Press Statement, although he did admit his assessment of the colt’s trackwork may have been askew.
“It shows you shouldn’t judge a horse by it’s work and trials,” he said.
“He didn’t appreciate the slow pace early so I made him respond.
“And he did. It’s no fluke. He is a racehorse.”
Press Statement’s stablemate, Spring Champion Stakes winner Vanbrugh, worked home at the back of the field to finish 5-1/2 lengths from the winner.
“He went OK,” Waller said.
“He may go to the Australian Guineas at Flemington on the same day as Press Statement goes to the Randwick Guineas.
“But I’m mindful his target is the Rosehill Guineas so whether he has a float trip to Melbourne we’ll wait and see.
“Press Statement goes to the Randwick Guineas with the option of coming back to the 1500 metres of the George Ryder Stakes.”
The Randwick Guineas and Australian Guineas are both over 1600 metres on March 5.