A breakthrough stakes win to lightly raced sprinter Office Bearer at Sandown is likely to lead to a shot at a Group One sprint in Adelaide.
The Peter Moody-trained Office Bearer defied a three-wide run in Saturday’s Listed City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes (1200m) to surge to the front in the final 250m to win by 1-1/2 lengths.
With a stakes win in the bag, Moody’s stable manager Jeff O’Connor said the Group One Goodwood in May could be a target for the four-year-old.
Office Bearer ($9), having his second run back from a spell, was one of three runners for Moody in the feature and his added fitness over resuming stablemate Ready To Rip ($4.60) told as he finished fourth.
“He’s always had that X-factor about him and it’s good to get a stakes win on the board for him,” O’Connor said.
“He’s got an interesting breeding page, being an American bred horse.”
O’Connor said lessons learned from a defeat in a restricted race at Mornington last preparation had helped pave the way for Saturday’s stakes success, which was the entire’s fifth win from 10 starts.
“He needs big tracks,” O’Connor said.
Office Bearer defeated Go The Knuckle ($9) with another 1-3/4 lengths to Happy Galaxy ($20) third.
The Listed Wangoom Handicap at Warrnambool is another potential target for Office Bearer on the way to The Goodwood.
“He’s probably earned his shot at a better race by winning a stakes race today,” O’Connor said.
With Luke Nolen on Ready To Rip, Linda Meech steered Office Bearer to victory.
Meech said Office Bearer jumped up rather than out at the start which affected where she positioned the sprinter.
“I didn’t want to panic and charge to the front and I didn’t want to drag him back because I’d still be wide,” Meech said.
“I sucked it up and hoped that nothing caught me.”
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