Three-year-olds have dominated a light but star-studded barrier trial session on Randwick’s Kensington circuit with a trio of colts stealing the show.
Golden Slipper winner Farnan signalled he was on target for a lucrative spring with an impressive win over Slipper placegetter Mamaragan.
Stepping out for his first trial of the season, the Tulloch Lodge colt and reigning Golden Rose favourite made the running and was strong to the line.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Prague responded to the addition of blinkers to upstage the older horses in the second heat.
Jockey James McDonald gave Prague his seal of approval and predicted there was good improvement to come from the Group One placegetter.
“He did everything pretty well. He attacked the line well and he pulled up well too, albeit still a little bit hairy in the coat but he will come to (hand) pretty quickly,” McDonald told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
McDonald will partner favourite North Pacific in Saturday’s Up And Coming Stakes at Randwick and like Farnan, Mamaragan and Prague, the Hawkes Racing colt is headed towards the Golden Rose.
Sydney’s premier jockey feels the three-year-olds are shaping up to be an outstanding crop.
“I reckon it’s a very open year. It’s just whoever takes the next step, they’re all very good, quality horses,” McDonald said.
“It will be quite exciting when they all clash and it might not be until the Golden Rose because a lot of them are taking different paths.”
Mamaragan, who has a stakes win and a brace of Group One placings from three starts, satisfied trainer John Thompson with his chasing effort behind Farnan.
He is slated to resume in the San Domenico Stakes (1100m) later this month.
“Very pleased to see our colt improve from first trial to second trial and that trial will top him off nicely to go to the races now,” Thompson said.
The final trial was won by the Mark Newnham-trained Invictus Salute, who edged out stablemate Splintex in the fastest time of the morning.