Former French galloper Attorney has forced trainer Matt Smith to consider a start in the Metropolitan Handicap with his classy staying performance at Rosehill.
Attorney came into Saturday’s Group Three Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) off two solid runs over unsuitable journeys but Smith feared the rapid 600m distance rise might have been a bridge too far.
It proved no obstacle for Attorney ($4.40), who came from back in the field to overhaul his rivals and score by 1-1/4 lengths over Djukon ($6.50) with the winner’s stablemate Grey Lion ($6.50) a half-head away third.
Smith will consult with Attorney’s owners, the Terry Henderson-managed OTI Racing, before deciding whether to back him up in next weekend’s Group One staying feature.
“He was impressive today and I suppose with that run under his belt it might be time to take a chance,” Smith said.
“But I’d like to speak to the owners and Terry before we think about it.”
Tulloch Lodge four-year-old Entente scored a tough win in the Ranvet Handicap (1900m) after runner-up Vegas Jewel looked set to go past him.
But the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained gelding dug deep, lifting again for Tim Clark to deny Vegas Jewel by a head with leader Fun Fact another 1-1/2 lengths away.
“It was a question for him over the distance today. It’s a nice grounding foundation and he was really able to pull out plenty late,” Bott said.
Bott said the stable had no grand plans for Entente this spring but felt he would develop into a handy stayer next preparation.