The decision to geld Embracer has reaped immediate rewards with the Tulloch Lodge five-year-old resuming with a brilliant stakes win at Hawkesbury.
Co-trainer Adrian Bott said the procedure had made Embracer more relaxed, a quality he hoped would help the horse realise his potential.
The five-year-old took the first step on Saturday, pouncing on the leaders to race to a 1-3/4 length win over Wayupinthesky in the Hawkesbury XXXX Gold Rush (1100m).
“Obviously now as a gelding, mentally, he’s relaxing a bit more in his races whereas he used to overdo it a touch and that’s where he was vulnerable,” Bott said.
“It probably stopped him taking that next step. Hopefully now he’s ready to go on with it.”
Winning jockey Tim Clark was taken by Embracer’s effort at what was his first start since he was unplaced on a heavy track at Rosehill in July.
He also praised the training performance of Bott and Gai Waterhouse, who had him wound-up to produce his best first-up.
“That was pretty impressive,” Clark said.
“Although he had to sit outside and three-wide, it was only the one turn so it wasn’t too much of a disadvantage.
“He’d had two solid trials leading into it, he was prepared very well for a first-up assignment and they got the rewards.”