By Ray Hickson
The race didn’t go to script but the result was no surprise – expensive colt Siege Of Quebec announced himself as an autumn Group 1 contender at Rosehill on Saturday.
But he gave punters who took the $1.50 in the Wilkes Quality (1100m) more than a few anxious moments in the run, stepping away slowly and being under pressure from jockey Brenton Avdulla before the turn, but his class shone through late.
Co-trainer Adrian Bott said the stable has long thought of the $1.2m colt as a Group 1 miler in the making and will plot a path to the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 10.
“The race didn’t pan out how we thought it might, in the end it still worked out well,’’ Bott said.
“Ideally we were hoping to control from the front and run our own race to dictate.
“He’s going to be a top class miler. That was always going to be the big risk at 1100m but we thought class could take him a long way and he showed that late.’’
Siege Of Quebec missed the spring carnival after he ran second to Menari in the Rosebud at Rosehill in late August with Bott and Gai Waterhouse giving him a little more time to mature.
Siege Of Quebec climbed off the canvas to win first-up at Rosehill on Saturday
It appears there’s still some work to do on that front but the colt has a serious motor.
As Bott alluded, most expected Siege Of Quebec to bounce in front and have an uncontested lead but after he was half a length slow Avdulla handed up to Godolphin galloper Kennedy who assumed control.
Avdulla had Siege Of Quebec under the whip coming to the turn and early in the straight it appeared he might drop out.
“It was a heartstopper. He was probably a bit too relaxed and the leader was able to drop him at the top of the straight and leave him flat footed,’’ Bott said.
“He always gives you heartache, on a number of occasions he’s looked beaten.
“But I think he showed his class. Once he finally focused and he had that horse to run down he was very good late. When he does switch on he’s quite electrifying.’’
At one point early in the straight Avdulla said he was just trying to stay out of the way of the other horses thinking he was on a beaten horse.
But Siege Of Quebec had other ideas in what really was a great escape first-up.
Punters Intel data illustrated the three-year-old's finishing burst - his 400m-200m was run in 10.80 and he clocked 11.36 to the post.
“He wasn’t tracking well at all, he’s pulled two plates off so there’s obviously a reason for that,’’ Avdulla said.
“I had to get stuck into him but at the 300m when Schoey (Glyn Schofield on Kennedy) was two or three in front and I had Tye (Angland on Single Bullet) on my outside I could feel him pick up and I knew the race was over at the 150m as I could feel him surge.’’