Talented sprinter Julius returned to action in Saturday’s Allied Security 1200 at Te Rapa and turned in a dominant performance in an ominous sign of things to come.
The patiently-handled seven-year-old notched the seventh victory of his career after absorbing the early pressure from eventual placegetters Resurrect and Contessa Vanessa to stamp himself as the horse to beat in the Gr.2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m) on August 18.
“He’s only seventy-five or eighty-five per cent fit really,” winning trainer John Bell said.
“What he did was more than satisfactory and we will look after him for the next two weeks and come back for the Foxbridge.”
“We don’t do a lot with him. We keep the weight off his legs as he’s a heavy boy. He is doing everything right and he just keeps improving.”
Bell said a start in the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings on September 1 would depend how he came through his next assignment.
The Cambridge-trained galloper has never finished out of the placings in his 11 career starts.
Winning rider Jason Waddell was delighted with the return of one of the country’s most exciting gallopers.
“They were just running themselves into the ground taking him on,” Waddell said. “It is a bad way to try and race against him because he’s a heart-breaker.
“He showed his class with 59.5kgs fresh-up and he hasn’t been wound up at all.
“I’ve got a pretty easy job. He’s an uncomplicated horse to ride and all credit goes to John and the staff.
“It would be very easy to get carried away with a horse like him, but they’ve played the long-game and given him time to mature, so I really hope they reap the rewards that they deserve.”
Waddell said Julius would be more effective on a better surface than the Heavy10 track at Te Rapa.
“I didn’t want to ride him like that as we’ve been teaching him to settle, but I just had to play the percentages today and use his good gate-speed and lead on him.
“He really would be better on a better track.”
A son of Swiss Ace, Julius is now the $9 equal favourite for the Tarzino Trophy with Group One winners Melody Belle and Start Wondering. – NZ Racing Desk