Hualalai a 2017 Caulfield Guineas contender

Posted by Sports News First on 1/7/2017
Filled in: Racing

Promising colt Hualalai atoned for a last-start glitch in style at Rosehill to stay on course for a crack at the Group One Caulfield Guineas in spring.

After finding himself too far off the pace to catch Gaulois at the same track a fortnight ago, the addition of blinkers sharpened up the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained two-year-old to good effect in the card-opening 1400 metre Handicap.

Hualalai, who sold for $625,000 as a yearling at the Magic Millions sales, breezed to a 1-1/4 length victory under Hugh Bowman on a soft 6 to record his second win from five starts.

The Paul Perry-trained Condor ($8) was second and Gerald Ryan’s $2.40 favourite Heliosphere was a half-length back in third after improving from seventh at the 400m mark.

“The blinkers were the key, he was able to sit himself a lot closer and put himself in the race,” Bott said.

“He switched off nicely, he relaxed and he was able to finish off strong through the line

“He’s still very raw at the moment, we’ve seen that in all his races to date but there’s a huge amount of ability there.

“We’ll take him through his grades and try and map put a nice path towards the Guineas.”

The $1 million Caulfield Guineas (1600m) is raced on October 13.

Bowman was also impressed after riding Hualalai ($2.80) for the first time.

“I think he’s got a lot more to offer than what you’re seeing. He’s still a baby,” he said.

“Physically he’s there, mentally he’s a bit of a way off.”