By Ray Hickson
There’ll be no hesitation from trainer Les Bridge to throw exciting prospect Classique Legend in a deeper pool if he makes it two from two at Randwick on Wednesday.
Classique Legend stamped himself as a promising galloper with an explosive debut win on the Kensington track two weeks ago and returns there for the Tab.com.au Handicap (1250m).
Bridge is not one for grand statements about horses but he indicated if the gelding wins impressively again he’ll head toward the Listed Darby Munro (1200m) on Golden Slipper Day.
“I’ve been training a long while, they are only as good as their next win with me. He’s promising,’’ Bridge said.
“I’ll gauge him as he goes along, this time of the year you don’t know.
“He might be another Southern Legend, he started off like that and went on to win the Darby Munro.’’
Southern Legend won three straight in the late summer of 2016 culminating in the Darby Munro and is now one of Hong Kong’s better performed horses.
Punter’s Intelligence data illustrates why Classique Legend earned big raps following his debut win over 1100m on February 20.
He clocked 32.64 for his last 600m, the only horse all day to better 33 seconds, and he was the only horse to break 11 seconds for the last 200m as he scorched clear in 10.88.
The grey faces a class rise and an awkward barrier for jockey Kerrin McEvoy to navigate but he stifles the betting at $1.50 with TAB.
“He’s an impressive horse, I’ve always liked him from the start,’’ Bridge said.
“He’s jumping up a bit taking on the older and seasoned horses, I think he will handle it though. The only way to find out is to throw them in.
“He should improve as he goes along, he’s a nice horse. The jockey likes him, all the signs are good.’’
Stablemate Flying Legend will carry the same colours and rider in the Rise Up At The Championships Handicap (1550m) and has also been set a test by Bridge.
The three-year-old, $4.20 with TAB, was placed behind Trope and Got Your Six, the latter then chased home Classique Legend, over 1100m a month ago and jumps sharply in distance.
“He’s going up in distance but he had a 1250m barrier trial at Hawkesbury so I think he will be fit enough,’’ Bridge said.
Classique Legend wins easily on debut at Randwick on February 20
“That’s the risk but he’s a nice horse. He’s got his foot on the till.’’
Meanwhile, Bridge revealed smart mare Seasons will return to his stable later this month to prepare for a late autumn/winter campaign.
The four-year-old has three wins and three seconds from her six starts and Bridge sounds bullish about her upcoming preparation.
“She’s always been lightly framed so we decided to give her one long spell,’’ he said.
“She was only running on sheer ability before. She’s put on 52kg so she’ll be a handful to beat when she comes back.’’