The Elanora wins Spring Stakes: John Singleton colt shows Derby potential

There was talk of an ATC Australian Derby campaign for The Elanora and the Randwick Guineas for High Supremacy after their thrilling clash at Newcastle on Saturday.

This might seem ambitious but what is certain is that both three-year-olds have the potential to develop into classic contenders later this season.

Their straight-long duel for the Group 3 $160,000 Spring Stakes (1600m), with The Elanora rallying under pressure to win narrowly, was evidence of their emerging potential.

The Elanora is raced by John Singleton and is from one of racing’s most successful equine families that includes More Joyous, Tuesday Joy, Sunday Joy and Joie Denise. The Chris Waller-trained colt is bred to be good.

The Elanora fights on to get the win for @cwallerracing. Another gun ride from @TommyBerry21👏👏 pic.twitter.com/PJuugHMK23

Charlie Duckworth, Waller’s stable representative, admitted as much when he described The Elanora as a “very exciting colt.’’

“It was a really tough effort,’’ Duckworth said.

“Tommy got a beautiful run in behind a manic speed battle so he came into the top of the straight with a full tank of gas and that told late.’’

Duckworth said The Elanora has made significant improvement with each run during his four-race debut preparation.

“When he won at the provincials first-up we thought he might be mentally a bit behind the others,’’ Duckworth said.

“Then the blinkers went on and he has continued to take the necessary steps and today is the cherry on top for his spring preparation. John Singleton will be cheering no doubt and I’m tipping he had something to do with his price tumbling.’’

The Elanora firmed from $10 into $7.50 and showed his willingness to fight back and beat High Supremacy ($7) by a half length with Ellsberg ($5.50) more than two lengths away third.

Perfect Radiance was sent out $4.40 favourite but was very disappointing, fading to finish second last.

The Elanora has kept improving this campaign. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Tommy Berry, who vaulted to the top of the Sydney jockeys’ premiership after completing a winning double on The Elanora following his earlier success on King’s Trust, also predicted a bright future for The Elanora.

Berry relied on his knowledge of the form and nuances of rival runners to guide The Elanora to a valuable Group 3 win.

“I was able to make a couple of horses work around me so we would get the perfect run in the race,’’ Berry said. “I knew the leader had been hanging off at his last couple of starts so I felt I was going to get the run when I needed it

“It was a masterstroke from Chris bringing this colt from 1800m back to the mile as I knew he would be fit at the end

“I think that was the difference in the end – Nash’s horse (Rawiller on High Supremacy) got to me but my colt picked up and was strong to the line.’’

Berry said The Elanora has been strong through the line in each of his races and the jockey reasoned he needed to make use of the colt’s obvious staying ability.

“I thought if we hold him up for a sprint he is not that type of horse,’’ he said.

Hear from Charlie Duckworth and @TommyBerry21 after a nice win from The Elanora in the G3 Spring Stakes. pic.twitter.com/MolySIFFWq

“I knew I was on the fittest horse in the race, too. He’s a lovely colt and has a Group win next to his name now.

“It feels like he will run 2000m maybe even a touch further but I’m not about to start placing Chris’s horses, I’ll let him do that and I’ll ride them.’’

However, Berry did suggest The Elanora can develop into a classic contender next autumn.

“He could be a (ATC Australian) Derby horse because he is that relaxed and he was strong at the end of that race,’’ he said. “It was a very good effort and although he had been racing in easier races his times have been good.

“He’s got a future, that’s for sure.’’

Trainer Richard Freedman was proud of High Supremacy’s effort but lamented his stable’s run of near misses on Saturday.

“Can we run a second placing today – we have run two seconds with High Supremacy and Sweet Reply (Sandown Guineas) in Group races and two seconds at Kembla – that’s four for the day,’’ Freedman said.

“But I think High Supremacy can and come back and be a very nice horse in the autumn. This is his first preparation, only his third run in a race and he is still really green, too. Nash (Rawiller) said when he had to flatten out he got a bit wayward and lost, it’s just greenness.

“He was beaten by a better horse on the day but he is a good horse in the making.

“It’s a good time to give him a break now, he will mature and should be a really nice horse in the autumn. We have high hopes for him.’’

Tommy Berry was impressed by The Elanora’s tenacious win. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

SUPER SHOT AT THE GONG

Super might have raced his way into contention for the $1 million The Gong with another barnstorming win at Newcastle on Saturday.

Trainer Mark Minervini hinted he was keen to run Super in the right Kembla Grange race after another impressive win in the Hungerford Hill Benchmark 78 Handicap (1600m).

This was Super’s third successive win – all on his home track of Newcastle – and Minervini hopes his much-improved sprinter-miler can secure a start in The Gong.

“Super is definitely on the way up,’’ Minervini said. “I might even throw in a nomination for The Gong next week, whether he gets a start or not I don’t know.

“But the horse is absolutely airborne and he has backed up well before.

“Tommy (Sherry) was very confident before the race and I have been confident all week as the horse is a ball of muscle, I can’t get him any fitter and he loves it here.

“We might just give him an easy week. There is a benchmark race over a mile at Kembla as well so I think you will see him next Saturday.’’

Super makes it 3 on the trot after drawing clear. A nice win for the local. pic.twitter.com/1ERvfqKCyW

Super ($3.70 favourite) came with a powerful finishing burst down the centre of the track and raced clear to win by nearly a length from Spirit Ridge ($5.50) with Ulusaba ($11) nearly two lengths away third.

Sherry, Sydney’s leading apprentice, told Minervini a race like The Gong would suit Super.

“Those big races are always run with fast tempos and that is what this horse needs,’’ Sherry said. “He relaxed so much better than his previous run. You had him spot on. He was really good, he travelled well, and ripped home.’’

Super gave Minervini his first Sydney Saturday winner – the Newcastle stand-alone meeting had metropolitan status – since the trainer moved across from Adelaide in August last year.

“This win is something I can tick off my bucket list,’’ said Minervini who has 16 in work at his Newcastle stables.

“I was getting a bit older and racing in Adelaide is really struggling. I thought the clock was ticking and if we don’t go now we will never go. It was an itch that needed scratching.

“I’m delighted, it’s great racing here, every day of the week. There are great trainers and jockeys and it has made me a better trainer for sure because I have had to lift to their level.

“It is a dream come true racing against these guys every week.’’

Originally published asBerry backs Spring star to be a classic contender

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