Rick Hore-Lacy’s stellar run continued when Chase The Rainbow defied the pattern to claim Friday night’s $200,000 Group 2 Essendon Jeep Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.
Just six days after Hore-Lacy provided the first two horses home in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, Chase The Rainbow affirmed his reputation as a leading contender for the $1 million The Age Caulfield Guineas with an impressive win.
On a wintry night when most winners came from prominent positions in the run, Chase The Rainbow unleashed a whirlwind finish from the rear to confirm Hore-Lacy’s strong opinion of him.
“It was tempting to ride him closer given the pattern of racing tonight, but I told the stewards we were not going to change his riding style,” the Caulfield trainer said.
“He’s a very promising horse, he doesn’t pull and once you kick them up and teach them to pull, it’s bloody hard to get them out of the habit.”
Despite the moderate tempo, jockey Dean Yendall was content to sit back near the rear aboard the $2.60 favourite before commencing his run from the 500m.
Chase The Rainbow had plenty of ground to make up after Cute Emily ($5) dashed clear at the 200m but he let down impressively over the concluding stages to get home by 1.3 lengths with Sabrage ($6) 1.5 lengths away third.
The performance had Yendall, who is yet to ride a Group 1 winner, excited about next Saturday’s The Age Caulfield Guineas.
“It was a really good effort to run them down like he did and the last furlong he put in a 10-and-a-half (seconds split), he was going that quick,” Yendall said.
“I’d probably say at the moment that he’s the best horse I’ve ever sat on, so hopefully he takes me places.”
Hore-Lacy said that would first be the Guineas, on 8 October, with the $1.5 million AAMI Victoria Derby on 29 October the long-range aim.
“Yes we will (go to the Guineas) and then we’ll come back here for the mile-and-a-quarter race (Mitchelton Wines Vase) on Cox Plate Day and then we’ll go for the Derby,” he said.