By Ray Hickson
Trainer Matthew Dale will wait until the last minute before deciding whether Kosciuszko placegetter Man Of Peace chases a rich bonus in Saturday’s $1m Yes Yes Yes Stakes or takes what appears the softer option of the Goulburn Cup a day later.
The eight-year-old has an imposing heavy track record and given he's eligible for bonuses of between $100,000 and $750,000 - for horses that contested either the Everest, Kosciuszko or Sydney Stakes - if he can finish top three Dale is seriously entertaining the Yes Yes Yes Stakes (1300m).
Despite his wet track prowess he’s a $51 chance in TAB’s all-in market on the $1m sprint feature on Golden Eagle day headed by TAB Everest placegetter Gytrash at $2.80.
“It’s a harder race than what he’s been in previously but a wet track can even the playing field somewhat,’’ Dale said.
“It’d be a heavy track now at Rosehill and if they keep getting rain through the week it will stay in the heavy range.
“It’s a strong race with a big prize pool but it is clearly the heavy track that has us interested in throwing him in the deep end.
“We will leave it as late as we can and weigh up everything that is in front of us from weather to how the race looks to shape then make a decision.”
He'll accept for both races and decide by scratching time on Saturday.
In 10 starts on heavy tracks the gelding has won five and placed in three others including three straight at Randwick’s two tracks in July and August.
If Man Of Peace managed finish third in the Yes Yes Yes he’d collect a $100,000 bonus on top of the $98,000 prizemoney. The bonus for second is $200,000 and if he happened to win it’s $750,000.
First prizemoney in the Goulburn Cup (1400m) is just under $110,000. So you can see why Dale might “dare to dream” a little.
“He’s won a lot of races for us and sometimes when these horses have been out of the winner’s circle for some time you’re more likely to go for the winnable races,’’ Dale said.
“But he’s coming off winning a number of races in a row and a good strong third in the Kosciuszko, with a wet track we can consider rolling the dice in a lot harder race.”
Man Of Peace has been a revelation for Dale, he joined the stable as a six-year-old with 36 starts under his belt and has since won just under $600,000 for his new owners.
He’s won six city races, all at Randwick, and Dale said the Kosciuszko placing on a good track was testament to how well Man Of Peace is racing.
“It’s quite crazy, we bought him for $30,000 as a tried horse and not in our wildest dream did we think it was achievable,’’ he said.
“He’s just an ultra consistent campaigner that has grown in confidence as he’s gone along.
“It’s quite a remarkable feat after such exposed form as a six-year-old and so many starts around the bush. We’re very proud of him and at this stage there looks like there’s good races left in him.”
Man Of Peace runs third in The Kosciuszko
The gallant third in the Kosciuszko, just over a length behind It’s Me, took a little out of Man Of Peace initially but Dale sale he’s bounced through the run well and saw no reason not to press on.
“Straight after the Kosciuszko he knew he’d been around, he really put in on the day, but by the Monday morning he went out for a swim and was bucking his brand off and feeling well,’’ Dale said.
And there’s a good chance he could contest either or both of the $1m features in November – the Hunter (1300m) at Newcastle on November 14 and the Gong (1600m) at Kembla Grange a week later.
“Over a mile Man Of Peace has run Mugatoo to a head at Randwick (in January). I could entertain that race,'' he said.
"They are both great options to consider and it doesn’t matter if it’s wet or dry.”