Two interstate Cups are in the sights of trainer Richard Laming with a horse which has family ties to the legendary Makybe Diva.
Six-year-old Wales, a winner at Moonee Valley over 2040m on Saturday, is bound for the $200,000 Group Three Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 8 with a view to a step up to 3200m in the Adelaide Cup in March.
Wales cost $50,000 at a Lloyd Williams dispersal sale in March last year and joined Laming’s stable.
He is by Redoute’s Choice out of Group Three-winning mare Valkyrie Diva, a half-sister to three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva.
“We’ll head to the Hobart Cup,” Laming said.
“It’s two weeks from Monday so the timing is good.”
Saturday’s victory with 60kg in the benchmark-78 event was Wales’ first victory in 10 starts since joining Laming although he went close to winning the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) in November with a fast-finishing second to Junoob.
“That put the writing on the wall that he’s got a good race in him,” Laming said.
Laming is looking forward to getting Wales up to 2400m for the first time in the Hobart Cup.
“He’s bred to get two miles,” he said.
“He was strong through the line in the Ballarat Cup and I can’t see it being an issue. I really think he’ll be a two-miler and all going well I’ve got the Adelaide Cup in the back of my mind, but we’ll head to Hobart first.
“He’s a nice horse and he’s lightly raced.”
After winning a Listed race on debut as a two-year-old in 2012 for trainer Robert Hickmott, Wales spent almost two years off the scene with various issues.
He had five more starts for Hickmott before being culled from the Williams team.
“It’s taken me a while but I’m starting to work him out,” Laming said.
The horse schooled over jumps on Saturday morning before he won later in the day, and Laming said the horse also enjoyed the beach.
“He’s a six-year-old stallion so I have to change things up,” he said.