Ashlor has returned from a trip to Perth to claim victory over a sprint trip at Moonee Valley.
Trainer Dan McCarthy is now planning another Group One assault after the gelding won Saturday’s Punters.com.au Handicap.
Ridden by Daniel Stackhouse, Ashlor was sent off the $3.50 favourite in defeating Essence Of Terror ($6.50) by a length with Thermal Current ($7.50) 1-1/2 lengths away third.
McCarthy revealed the mild temperatures Ashlor encountered in Perth when sixth in the Group One Winterbottom Stakes on December 1 allowed him to be successful four weeks later on the other side of the country.
“We were lucky with the weather over there, it was in the early 20s when you can get 40-degree days at that time of year,” McCarthy said.
“Had we got that we wouldn’t be here today.”
McCarthy said Ashlor performed creditably at his first try at weight-for-age and is better off against handicappers at this stage of his career.
“Had that race been run at a different tempo, god knows what might have happened,” McCarthy said.
“He shaped as the winner on the corner but was swamped late.
“It was a terrific run.”
McCarthy said Ashlor wouldn’t be seen again until the Listed WJ Adams Stakes at Caulfield on February 2 before contesting the Group One Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at the same track three weeks later.