Santos posts tenacious maiden Group victory
Emirates Park bred and co-owned Santos scored a tenacious maiden black-type victory when landing the Group 2 ATC Skyline Stakes (1200m) in his final lead-up event to the 2018 Golden Slipper.
Sent to post a firm odds-on favourite after his brilliant first-up victory at the same venue a fortnight beforehand, Santos raced in a similar pattern to his previous start before pulling out all stops to score a determined victory.
Speaking after a very gutsy success, winning co-trainer Gai Waterhouse declared: “This bloke is a serious colt.”
Gai went on to explain: “I will tell you why he is a serious colt, because the things were against him today. He is still learning his craft. He is a horse who has a beautiful action. He is so smooth the way he glides. He is a serious chance in the Slipper.”
Gai added: "What was interesting was Tim [Clark] saying the wind was a factor blowing strongly. The ground was a little bit soft [too], so you cannot use your turn of foot.
“The more he races, the better he'll be.”
Winning jockey Tim Clark observed: "He probably just had the edge off him a little bit after such a dominant win first-up. I think the three weeks now leading into the Slipper is going to be an ideal little break for him.”
Clark also said: “He's not the greatest horse out of the gates, but he is getting better. I thought he jumped better today, as you would have seen."
Santos has now won two of his four starts and just over $240,000 in prizemoney and bonuses. His CV also boasts a placing in the Listed ATC Breeders' Plate (1000m) — the time honoured opening event to each and every Sydney 2-year-old racing season.
In winning the Skyline, Santos is virtually guaranteed a start in this year's Golden Slipper to be run on March 24. The highly precocious colt also established himself as an exciting future stud prospect as a Group 2 winning juvenile by the highly commercial sire I Am Invincible.
Adding further credence to his future prospects as a stallion is the fact that Santos hails from one of Emirates Park's most pre-eminent female families that has emanated from the brilliant stud career of the prodigious matriarch Elated Lady.
A division of the Nasser Abdulla Lootah Group