Heart Of Dreams earned himself another shot at the Dubai Australian Cup with a tough all-the-win in Saturday’s Carlton Draught St George Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
The Mick Price-trained five-year-old produced his toughest performance yet to not only win the $200,000 Group 2, in which he ran second to La Rocket last year, but convince Price he is ready to run a strong 2000m.
“Certainly he’s got to go to the Australian Cup now, on that,” Price said straight after the race. “He’s a bit vulnerable (at 2000m) but it doesn’t matter, he’s a more mature horse now and he’ll be thereabouts.
“That was a good hard run that will toughen him up for the Australian Cup. He’ll be hard fit and if he draws a gate and he’s well ridden he’ll be there (in the finish).”
It’s hard to disagree in light of his St George display against many of the horses he will meet in the Australian Cup.
The gelding fought Damien Oliver for the first 600m after being fired out to take up a position from his outside barrier, but was still able to kick clear round the home turn and hold his rivals at bay.
Heart Of Dreams ($2.40 fav) cruised home by two and a half lengths from Precedence ($19) with the winner’s stablemate Spacecraft ($9) gaining the nod over Ginga Dude ($9.50) and Lord Pyrus ($9.50) in a three-way photo for third.
Oliver agreed that Heart Of Dreams, now a winner of six of his 23 starts and a tick over $1.5 million, deserved another shot at the $1 million Australian Cup, to be run on March 12.
“That’s the little query, at 2000 (metres), but he’s never far away,” Oliver said. “He’s such a consistent horse, his best runs have been here at Caulfield but he’s never run bad at Flemington.
“We haven’t got So You Think to chase at the moment so why not have a crack.”
For a full result of the Carlton Draught St George Stakes, click on the link.