Temperamental two-year-old colt Glenfiddich won his first race at Mornington on Saturday, prompting Cranbourne-based trainer Robbie Griffiths to test the horse again in Stakes company.
Glenfiddich delayed the start of Saturday’s $125,000 Quayclean Mornington Sires (1500m) by getting worked up on the way to the barriers and then playing up once in the stalls, with rider Noel Callow doing well to get out of harm’s way.
However, Glenfiddich displayed enough savviness at his seventh start once the gates opened to relax behind the leader Sea Witness and then race clear for a comfortable 2.75-length victory.
Albukhturi was the best of Lindsay Park Racing’s three runners in the seven-horse field in finishing second, with Amish Boy a further three-quarters of a length away in third.
“There were a few nervous moments there,” Griffiths said.
“I don’t know why, he was so relaxed today, but was reluctant to go into the barriers, which he’s normally been good at.
“But once the barriers opened he bounced quickly, Noel (Callow) rode him beautifully and the rest was history.”
Griffiths intends to run Glenfiddich in the $1 million G1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 4 before the $500,000 G1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on April 18.
“We’ve always planned to get out to the Sires’ Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes in Sydney but we were a little concerned in recent times as to whether or not we could cross the borders and how long racing is going to be restricted by what is going on with the virus (Coronavirus outbreak),” Griffiths said.
“That’s what he’s bred to do (get to those distances) and everyone who has ridden him has been telling me to get him over that ground.”
Glenfiddich was purchased from last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for $200,000. His first five starts were all in Stakes company, including a second to Hanseatic in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) before he finished runner-up in the sales-restricted $200,000 Adelaide Magic Millions Classic (1200m) earlier this month at Morphettville.