The best-laid plans of horses and men sometimes go awry and result in a Group Three victory.
Veladero found himself leading Saturday’s Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill despite trainer Chris Waller giving jockey Rory Hutchings instructions to settle worse than midfield.
The tempo slowed in the middle stages allowing Veladero ($14) to pick up some cheap splits before he held off the challenge of Honeywine ($14) in the straight.
“It didn’t exactly go to plan,” Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth said.
“It wasn’t exactly how he was told to ride it but he did a really good job.”
It was Hutchings’ biggest win since finishing his apprenticeship in June.
“He’s only just (become) a senior jockey but he played them well there,” Duckworth said.
James Cummings-trained Prized Icon was elevated to third after stewards upheld a protest against Godolphin’s Retaliation.
While Duckworth was giving little away in the absence of his boss, the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 8 looms as an appealing option for the colt’s next start.
Duckworth said the style of Saturday’s win suggested Veladero could handle a longer race.
“He certainly wasn’t stopping at the post there. He was strong through the line,” Duckworth said.
Hutchings said Veladero led after he decided not to fight the horse when he pulled against him in the early stages.
“If he settles better than today he’s definitely going to go a lot further,” Hutchings said.
The three-year-old colt has followed a similar path to Vanbrugh, who Waller took from midweek winner to Gloaming winner before taking out last year’s Spring Champion.
Hawkes Racing-trained Swear jumped the $3.40 favourite but finished sixth with jockey Christian Reith saying the widest barrier forced him to go back.
Veladero’s more fancied stablemate High Mist finished seventh.
Jockey Glyn Schofield said it was a good effort after the saddle was displaced during the race.
Veladero gave Waller his third win Gloaming victory, 10 years after All Black Gold became his first Group winner in the same race.