Being a bit green on debut and with a first name like 'Oscar' you would think there’s a hint of grouch in the Goulburn trained galloper Oscar Cranach.
However, his trainers say there’s no sign of that and his debut win suggests no sign of slouch either.
Despite coming off an unplaced trial effort and then six months off the Goulburn trained three–year-old did what few do by winning on debut.
The son of Melbourne Cup place getter and Group 2 winner Lucas Cranach scored at Wagga first up over 1400m for the Keith Dryden and Scott Collings training combination. Collings said the stable was caught on the hop a bit by the effort.
“He did surprise us a little bit. We thought the 1400m might have been a bit short for him,” Collings said.
Collings says there is no ‘grouch” in him at all despite the horse still learning his trade - “He’s a lovely horse to have around the stable and is very easy to train”.
The gelding gets the luxury of racing at his home track for the first time on Monday where he contests a Benchmark 55 event. The stable is looking forward to seeing what he offers second-up.
“This run is more for the experience to step up to the mile so we can stretch him out to a longer distance,'' he said.
Oscar Cranach winning at Wagga Wagga on June 24
Collings also says the horse’s training efforts since his debut run suggest that the early progression to a mile won’t be too big an issue.
“No it definitely won’t be a concern, he is very fit and is up to the challenge by all means.”
Despite meeting some much more experienced gallopers, the Dryden/ Collings team thinks he deserves a crack at this type of field off what he showed on debut and have backed that up with the booking of evergreen hoop Jeff Penza.
Oscar Cranach won’t be the only galloper attracting attention at Goulburn on Monday, the club’s final meeting for the 2017/18 season. There are still a few premierships up for grabs that could easily go down to the wire.
The Danny Williams trained Tiara Road sits one point adrift of Can She Kiss (Dryden/Collings) and Dawn Raid (John O’Shea) in the Goulburn Horse Of The Year category.
The mare is the only one of the trio racing and only needs to finish in the top two to earn the premiership outright. A third placed result would lift her into a three-way tie for first place.
Despite having a full book of strong rides on the day Jeff Penza might also have one eye on Nick Heywood who sits five points adrift of Penza in the tablelands track’s hottest hoop category.
Heywood has three genuine winning chances with Safe Landing (Kurt Goldman) in Race 4, Tiara Road (Danny Williams) Race 5 and last start winner Striking Lago (Aaron Clarke) Race 6.
Rachel King looks to have the Apprentice Of The Year title in hand with four rides on the day and a two-point break on her nearest rival Robbie Dolan.
Goulburn’s first race on Monday kicks off at 12.40pm.