Whobegotyou showed he is the horse to beat in the Cox Plate at this stage when he resumed with a strong come-from-behind win in the PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield.
The $3 million Cox Plate is his main mission again this spring and trainer Mark Kavanagh said he would like to think the early $7 favourite could win it at his third attempt.
“He’s a bit bigger and burlier this year but there’s no So You Thinks or More Joyous’s in it this year either,” he said.
“So, you know, he’s around the mark and certainly he’s going to win his share of races through the spring at weight-for-age.
Two years ago the Street Cry gelding was sent out favourite in the Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley and finished sixth to So You Think, while last year he ran third behind So You Think and the now retired Zipping.
Sent out at $2.45 on Saturday Whobegotyou, ridden by Damien Oliver, raced in ninth position before unleashing his customary finishing burst.
He scored by a long neck from Caulfield Cup favourite Lights Of Heaven who was backed from $2.40 to start favourite at $2.10.
Prince Obama ($101), who settled off the leader Jungle Ruler, was a long neck away third with Vesper running on well for fourth.
“He had the momentum and Lights Of Heaven was held up but he’s won fair and square,” Kavanagh said.
Ben Melham, who was filling in for the currently suspended Luke Nolen on Lights Of Heaven, had the mare in behind the leader on the home turn and came out and took a narrow gap between Prince Obama and Cellarmaster at the top of the straight.
Whobegotyou, who ran second to Predatory Pricer in the 2009 Group Two weight-for-age Lawrence (1400m), known as the JJ Liston Stakes until this year, has now won 10 races, finished second 10 times and third three times and earned more than $3.2 million in prize money.
Kavanagh is aiming the gelding at a third successive victory in the Group Two Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 10.
“He’ll have his next start in a month at the Valley and we’ll see where we go from there,” the Flemington trainer said.
“This will bring him right on now and there is no reason to race him every week. He’ll be peaking in October.
“He could run in the Underwood or the Yalumba before the Cox Plate but he’ll tell us when he’s needs a race.
“This is his fourth spring carnival at the absolute top level and I want to choose the right races for him and run him when he’s right.”
Oliver said age wasn’t wearying Whobegotyou at the moment and that he actually got to the front a little bit too soon.
“He probably arrived a little earlier than I wanted to but he’s a real chaser this horse. When he got to the front he thought the job was done and really put the brakes on,” he said.