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Highlad stakes his Derby claim
Unbeaten three-year-old Highlad is doing everything he can to book himself a trip to the Melbourne spring carnival.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained galloper took a step closer to a tilt at the Gr.1 Victoria Derby with a determined performance to claim the Listed H. S. Dyke Wanganui Guineas on Saturday.
A debut winner at Avondale last month, Highlad was forced to cover extra ground from an outside gate before gunning down the pacemaker, the previously undefeated stakes winner Manhattan Street.
“From the draw it was always possible he was going to get caught in no man’s land and have to do a power of work,” Forsman said.
“The better-performed one had his own way in front so obviously our bloke is pretty good. He’s still immature and has got a bit to learn, but the trip away will bring him on a lot.”
Forsman said Baker would have a chat with Highlad’s owner Scott Richardson, who also raced the Group One winner Diademe out of the stable, before a decision is made on his immediate future.
Jockey Matthew Cameron is an unabashed Highlad fan and he said the son of High Chaparral and the Group One performer My Lady’s Chamber was destined to make his mark in much stronger company.
“The blinkers went on and all the High Chaps should be born with blinkers. He didn’t have it his own way and he’s a very, very good horse.
“I got planted out wide and couldn’t get in. When the second horse put the brakes on from the 800 mark to the top of the straight I had to go around them.”
Highlad and Manhattan Street had the finish to themselves with the filly Hello M’Lady taking third money. – NZ Racing Desk.