Returning to racing in near-perfect form this time in, trainer Tony McEvoy has revealed he will use the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on August 23rd as an indicator as to whether or not exciting three-year-old Affirmation with progress to the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in September.
Affirmation has secured two wins from just three competitive starts so far; both coming after being gelded following the Inglis Classic Open (1200m), in which he finished fifth amongst classy company which included subsequent Group 1 champion Peggy Jean.
Beginning is career in South Australia; McEvoy recently had Affirmation transported to his Hawkesbury stables and told AAP he will slowly step the Not A Single Doubt gelding towards September 13th’s feature race.
“He took a few days to settle in to Hawkesbury but he seems nice and bright,” McEvoy said.
“If he pleases me over the next 10 days or so we’ll run him in the Up And Coming Stakes.
“If he shows to me that he will be a competitor in the Golden Rose, we’ll go there.”
Completing a near-two length victory in a 2.y.o Maiden event over 1100m first-up on July 5th, Affirmation more than stamped his claims for a step-up in class when winning the Grand Hotel Frankston Handicap (1400m) by three lengths last time out on July 26th.
Understandably thrilled with how the gelding out of Apocrypha has returned this campaign, McEvoy said he is unlucky not to be entering the Up And Coming Stakes with a perfect record.
“I’ve always thought a fair bit of him and took him to Sydney for his first start in the Inglis Classic and he just made a few mistakes there,” McEvoy said.
“Nash Rawiller felt he should have won that race.
“He won his maiden nicely first-up and then he was very good at Caulfield.
“He has still got to do a bit more for me before I can say where he is going to be at, but Mark Zahra got off him the other day and said he felt like a black type horse to him.”
While yet to be confirmed for a start in the major race for three-year-olds, Affirmation is currently available at generous odds of $21 for success in the 2014 Golden Rose Stakes with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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