By Ray Hickson
Trainer Greg McFarlane knows there’s an asterisk against Golden Tycoon’s debut win but he’s adamant the colt is a potential Group 1 performer in the making.
The three-year-old has the chance to prove the on-pace pattern present at Canterbury on July 25 didn’t flatter his performance against a solid field of peers at Rosehill on Saturday.
“I know he’s a good horse, there’s no question mark about that,’’ McFarlane said.
“He’s still learning, he’s still green. He’s going to be better when he gets over further distances.
“You have to put that into perspective, it was a leader biased track. He took advantage and made the most of it, but in saying that the others were struggling to make ground on him.’’
Punters Intel data shows Golden Tycoon ran the fastest first 400m in 23.09 to establish control and ran his last 200m in 11.58 which was the fourth fastest in the race.
Comparing overall times he ran 0.6 seconds faster than the three-year-old race on the same program won by Smart Ain’t He and 0.9 seconds slower than the Benchmark 77 won by Smartedge.
Golden Tycoon takes on the likes of Plague Stone, Sandbar, Legend Of Condor and Charge in the Listed $150,000 Smithfield RSL Club Rosebud (1100m).
McFarlane said ideally he’d prefer not to be coming back in distance after winning over 1200m but feels he’s a run behind experience wise.
He’s already shown his hand as far as the Golden Rose is concerned by not nominating.
“The Up And Coming (run Saturday week) was probably my choice but I think that will be a stronger race and I would like to have another run under the belt before I attacked that race,’’ McFarlane said.
“On the Golden Rose plan he would have been going to the Up And Coming next week, the other option I had was go to the Rosebud and give him a let up and target him at the Coolmore (at Flemington in November).
“What it will come down to is when he works out his racing nous and gets more tuned in to racing.
“I would have liked to have had a start with him last prep because it’s hard for a first racing preparation horse to go all the way to Group 1 races.’’
TAB had Golden Tycoon priced at $13 on Wednesday behind Plague Stone ($2.60) in a race McFarlane feels is up for grabs.
There are form lines coming from several directions – provincial and midweek maiden winners, Saturday winners and Group placed performers.
Golden Tycoon leads all the way to win on debut at Canterbury on July 25
“You’ve got to respect every horse in the race,’’ he said.
“Even though it’s an exposed race the form of the horses is really a flip of the coin. They all look pretty solid, it comes down to who is the most professional and who gets the luck.
“Tactics will be up to Jason (Collett), he’ll be able to lead or sit back behind the speed. If they want to turn it on I’ll let Jason make the call.’’
As for the favourite Plague Stone, trainer James Cummings is keeping expectations in check despite his colt’s impressive first-up win at Randwick.
It was quite a performance in the Rosebud Prelude (1000m) where Plague Stone ran a slick 32.66 for his last 600m (Punters Intel).
“Plague Stone has been bottled up and held together as we proceed second up to the Rosebud,” Cummings said.
“He continues to look very sharp since his strong win over five furlongs a few weeks ago and looks set to let down strongly yet again in what looks another suitable race early on in his campaign.”
Meanwhile, Golden Tycoon’s older half-brother Super Tycoon is scheduled to make his long awaited return from almost two years off the scene in the coming fortnight.
McFarlane was hoping to strike a soft track for the seven-year-old’s first run back but is likely to either send him to the Show County Quality on Saturday week or a Benchmark race a week later.