By Julieanne Horsman
Wyong trainer Kristen Buchanan could have another stakes-quality horse on her hands.
Echo Effect has won three of his four starts to date and will be put to the test against a handy field when he resumes in the ALM Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
He has drawn awkwardly in barrier 11 but Buchanan is confident he will figure in the finish.
“He is not at his peak fitness yet but this is a good starting point,” she said.
“I have a very high opinion of him and he has an exciting campaign ahead.”
Experienced Sydney jockey Paul “The Duck” King has been aboard every start and will again pilot Echo Effect on Saturday.
He and Kristen Buchanan have enjoyed success together before, teaming up to win the Group 2 Sensis Sapphire Stakes with Two Blue in 2016.
Echo Effect had a nice run in a trial at Wyong on 28 December where he finished just behind Provincial Championships heat winner Supreme Effort.
“He trialed up to my expectations and seems to do it easily for a young horse,” Buchanan said.
“He’s come back from his spell more mature mentally.”
Echo Effect finished 7th last start in the Listed Schweppes Heritage Stakes on 17 September and even though it was a respectable run the race didn’t go his way.
“He was galloped on badly and had a shoe ripped off. The next morning his leg blew up like a balloon but thankfully x-rays and scans showed nothing more sinister than bruising,” Buchanan said.
Prior to that he was unbeaten in all three starts which included a 3.5 length win over 1200m on a heavy 10 track at Wyong.
Echo Effect is one of the best bred horses in Buchanan’s stable.
His sire, Reset, raced just five times before being retired to stud but he won every start including two Group 1s.
His dam, Tyrolean, is a half-sister to multiple Group 1 winner Yippyio and herself won a Listed race at Morphettville.
“I’m excited and grateful to have this high quality horse under my care,” Buchanan said.
It seems the horse’s owners, long-time racing and breeding enthusiasts Nino and Tina Tufilli, have chosen a high quality trainer too.
Buchanan is a quiet achiever with an impressive win rate of 19.7% and place rate 45.5%. It will only improve if Echo Effect continues to perform.
“If he goes well on the weekend his next challenge might be the Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on 4 February,” Buchanan said.
“The dream would be the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes after that.”