The Australian owners of Turn Me Loose have long-held ambitions to win the Cox Plate.
The New Zealand-trained Turn Me Loose secured his first weight-for-age success when taking out the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday and those Cox Plate dreams are now a step closer.
But first Turn Me Loose heads to Sydney for a start in the Doncaster Mile.
With trainer Murray Baker in Sydney overseeing Mongolian Khan in the Chipping Norton Stakes, owner Scott Brown said connections were now looking to bigger things from the four-year-old.
Backed from $3.70 into $3.10 favouritism, Turn Me Loose was given a perfect ride by Opie Bosson in scoring by three quarters of a length from Stratum Star ($17) with Suavito ($7) a long neck away third.
“Murray was a lot more confident going into today than he was first-up a fortnight ago and he was looking at this as a stepping stone to the Doncaster,” Brown said.
“Murray’s aim has always been the Cox Plate and if we can get there, that would be awesome.
“I think this is a step forward in the right direction and being Australian owners that is the race that we are after.”
Turn Me Loose is scheduled to have his next start at weight-for-age in George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill on March 19.
Bosson, who missed the winning ride aboard Turn Me Loose in the Emirates Stakes last spring, said Turn Me Loose was now a more furnished galloper.
“He’s grown up a lot, not just mentally but he’s got a lot stronger as well,” Bosson said.
“I just liked the way he switched off and didn’t over-race or anything which is quite positive for later on down the track.”
Stratum Star’s rider Mark Zahra said the four-year-old found the winner too tough.
Luke Currie said Suavito would appreciate the 2000m of the Australian Cup.
“Where she was she was chasing the whole way but she still picked up and finished off,” Currie said.
The racing career of five-time Group One winner Boban is over after the Chris Waller-trained galloper bled for the second time.