Common Purpose (right) has resumed with a first-up win that has created a dilemma for his trainer.
John Bateman admits he will have to solve a problem that would most likely be the envy of fellow country trainers after Common Purpose won at Canterbury.
Common Purpose resumed in outstanding order but caught Bateman off guard to win the Summer Racing Handicap (1100m).
The victory was Common Purpose’s fifth from 12 career starts in an interrupted career and pushed the sprinter to the limit of eligibility for the rich Country Championships.
Horses are allowed no more than five wins going into the series that offers $150,000 prize money for regional heats and a $500,000 purse for final at Randwick.
Common Purpose is trained out of Goulburn but the qualifying race on his home track won’t be run until March 2.
Bateman concedes Common Purpose would need a lead-up run but another victory will rule the five-year-old out of Championships contention.
“I’m not sure how we’ll get to the Country Championships now,” Bateman said.
Common Purpose started from the widest barrier in the eight-horse field but the expertise of jockey Hugh Bowman made a difference.
Bowman angled Common Purpose ($5) into a trailing position just off the speed and the five-year-old joined in at the 200m.
Lucand Lad, the $2.80 favourite, ensured Common Purpose had to earn his win with a short head separating the pair.
It was the third of four winners for Bowman on the seven-race card.
He earlier won on the Chris Waller stablemates Kolding and Matowi who share New Zealand stallion Ocean Park as their sire.
Bowman capped his day with his only ride for Godolphin turning out to be a precise one.
Transmitter ($4.20) was given the best possible run in the race but the mare had to rally hard to get on terms before holding off a late finish from Divine Breeze ($8.50).