Future Score has kicked off an ambitious campaign with a last-stride win at Pakenham.
Apprentice Fred Kersley says Future Score is set for a good autumn campaign after recording a first-up victory at Pakenham.
Trained at Ballarat by Matt Cumani, Future Score took out the Hanson Handicap (1600m) on Saturday, his first start since scoring over 2600m at Flemington in July.
Cumani is contemplating an assault on the Adelaide Cup at Morphettville in March while also not ruling out the Sydney autumn carnival or a shot at the Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington in May.
Victory in the Andrew Ramsden provides the winner a ballot exemption into next year’s Melbourne Cup.
In beating the $2.90 favourite Odeon by a half-head, Future Score ($17) denied that galloper his first victory in over two years while Al Passem ($10) was 1-1/4 lengths away third place.
Kersley had been riding Future Score on the track leading up to his return and said the gelding had been working with handy shorter course horses ahead of Saturday.
However he expected Future Score to settle towards the rear and be running on late.
“When he began so well and we ended up in the position we did I actually got a little bit nervous,” Kersley said.
“The boss’ s instructions were to be conservative and have him running on late.
“I was thinking I could be in a little bit of strife if he doesn’t hit the line, but three furlongs (600m) out he gave me a lovely tow into the race and it was a matter of when to push the button.
“I was confident at the top of the straight I would get there, but in the last couple of strides I got a little unsure.”