A lucrative pay cheque for connections of Specific Choice at Rosehill on Saturday has more than made up for the disappointment of his last-start failure.
The colt came away with almost $170,000 for winning the Inglis Bonus (1500m) after trainer Chris Waller decided to target the race rather than an 1850m event at Newcastle on Wednesday.
“He gets $48,000 for winning, another $20,000 BOBS bonus plus the $100,000 Inglis bonus so that’s a great result,” Waller said.
“He was going to an 1850 metre race at Newcastle next week.
“Early on we thought he would be a Rosehill Guineas type of horse but we thought we’d lost our way with him a bit after he got beaten at Warwick Farm last time.
“Hugh (Bowman) rode a great race and that’s what he needs, a strong rider.”
Starting favourite, Specific Choice ($4.60) raced on the pace and held off the late challenge from Tigress Baby ($9) by half a length with Chez Harmony ($17) another 1-3/4 lengths third.
Waller said he still believed Specific Choice, a $65,000 yearling, was a potential Group One performer but the Rosehill Guineas had faded as an option.
“We want him to have a decent spell and I’m not going to rush that just to get him back for the early autumn,” he said.
“He is a big free-going horse, a typical Lonhro, and time will tell how far he goes.”
Just how far Classics goes will be determined by her next start which is likely to be the Festival Stakes in two weeks.
The mare came with a late burst to nab Tromso by a long head to win the International Animal Health Handicap (1400m).
Trainer Peter Snowden said the Commands five-year-old out of Group One winning sprinter Ancient Song had matured into a horse who he was now considering as a contender for the Group Two Villiers Stakes (1600m) on December 22.
“She did show us the last two preps that she had ability,” he said.
“We gave her a good long break and it’s probably been the making of her.
“I’ll look at the Festival Stakes in a couple of weeks, just give her a tip of the tail in the water there, and if she runs it out strongly we’ll look at the Villiers.
“Getting black type is important with a mare like her.”
“I think she’s got a better chance now of running out the mile than she did originally because she used to race really hard but she relaxed well today.”