TOCUMWAL trainer Jim Cerchi Jnr is set to bypass the Albury carnival with his consistent sprinter Emboldened.
Despite upstaging a handy field of sprinters at Albury on Saturday, including Prince Pedro and Simmo, Emboldened will be freshened up before targeting a race in the Wagga carnival in May.
Ridden by Simon Miller, Emboldened ($5) sat outside race leader Club Zero ($5.50) until the final furlong before forging clear over the concluding stages.
The grey gelding finished a ¾-length ahead of Club Zero, with race favourite Prince Pedro ($3) a further ¾-length back in third.
“It was my first ride for the stable and it was a good effort by the horse against some handy opposition,” Miller said.
“Apart from his previous start at Albury he had been racing in much stronger company at Flemington and Moonee Valley.
“He jumped well from the wide barrier and I was able to get outside the leader without using too much petrol.
“He gave a good kick when I went for him at the furlong and did enough to hold them off.
“Jim was thinking about starting the horse in the City Handicap over 1400 metres on the first day of the Albury carnival.
“But I don’t think he would run out a strong 1400 metres so I think Jim is going to give him a freshen-up before targeting a sprint race over the Wagga carnival in May.”
Miller narrowly missed out on enjoying an even bigger day when the Kym Davison-trained duo Dudley Breeze and Direct Response finished runner-up in their respective races.
“Direct Response was a huge run after tailing off last and flew home to just get beat,” Miller said.
“Dudley Breeze raced over 1400 metres but I don’t think we will see the best of him until he gets over 10 furlongs.”
The Kevin Hanley-trained Arctic Grey ($3.50 fav) notched his fourth win from his past five starts with victory in the $8000 Benchmark 60 Handicap (2000m).
The gelding will now head to the Adrian Ledger Memorial on Albury Gold Cup day.