Veteran jockey Jim Cassidy says Counterattack could develop into a genuine Group One contender after the colt resumed to win in the Heritage Stakes at Randwick.
A three-quarter brother to top gallopers and heavy-track specialists Red Tracer and Shellscrape, Counterattack ($5) found the Randwick wet easy going and ran on strongly to overtake Haptic ($3.10).
The Gary Moore-trained Takedown ($12) rounded out the placings in third.
Cassidy said Counterattack won in a canter and had the potential to mix it with the best.
“He gave me a great feel and I think he’s a colt you’ll see in Melbourne over the spring,” Cassidy said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up in a race like the Coolmore (Stud Stakes).”
However, trainer Chris Waller will take Counterattack’s program one step at a time with the Group Two Roman Consul Stakes at Randwick the next race on his horizon.
It will be a good test as the race is also on the agenda of Golden Rose winner Exosphere and Counterattack’s Group One-winning stablemate Press Statement.
“The Roman Consul was always the plan, that’s the race we’ve put down. After that we might head to Melbourne if he’s going well,” Waller said.
“I’m not saying he’s better than Exosphere or Press Statement, but he deserves his chance.”
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Redzel started equal favourite with Haptic but didn’t raise the hopes of his backers to finish fifth.
“I would’ve liked to have led on him but he wasn’t standing well and missed the start a bit,” Redzel’s jockey Hugh Bowman said.
“The pace was genuine and he got into a nice rhythm but was plain the final furlong.”