Queensland an option for Sargent’s gelding

COMMANDING PERFORMANCE: Sahara Eagle, ridden by Travis Wolfgram, was a convincing winner at Kembla Grange. Picture: ROBERT PEET

COMMANDING PERFORMANCE: Sahara Eagle, ridden by Travis Wolfgram, was a convincing winner at Kembla Grange. Picture: ROBERT PEET

John Sargent will mull over a trip to the Queensland in the winter for Sahara Eagle after the three-year-old’s impressive maiden win at Kembla Grange on Saturday.

Sahara Eagle broke through in style under the urging of jockey Travis Wolfgram, beating John Thompson’s Krystal by 1-¼ lengths with Peter and Paul Snowden trained Rockin’ Red Rocket a further 1-1/5 lengths away in third.

John Sargent.

John Sargent.

The encouraging performance had Sargent contemplating a trip north of the border.

“We will see how he goes next start but he might end up going up to Queensland for the winter,” he said.

“But he will probably just go through his grades for the next one or two.

“At least he got a bit of confidence today and got that win on the board.”

Sahara Eagle had raced in substantially harder company at his previous start.

The gelding finished eighth in the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) at his first start this preparation on March 31 before Sargent brought the three-year-old to Kembla Grange.

“We used the last run at Gosford in the Guineas a bit like a trial because the owner is from there and wanted to run. That topped him off for this run,” Sargent said.

“He was trained in New Zealand by my friend [Tony Pike but the owner is from over here and with the stakes it was well worth bring him over to Australia. He is bred to get over a bit of a trip and I think he will.

“Once he gets up to a mile or further you will see the best of him.

“He is a promising horse.”

Sahara Eagle ($6) always looked prominent in his maiden victory after Wolfgram took up the lead from the barriers.

After being allowed to dictate the tempo, he kicked away at the top of the straight and had a big enough advantage on the fast-finishing Krystal ($16) that Wolfgram was able to eased down just before the line.

Rockin’ Red Rocket ($4) closed off down the outside for third, but Sahara Eagle was well clear by that stage.

“It was impressive,” Wolfgram said.

He has always shown a bit this horse and it was good to get a win on the board.”

Earlier on the card, Peter and Paul Snowden claimed the Phil & Tup 2YO Maiden Handicap (1000m) with promising filly Moss Trip. 

The filly, ridden by apprentice Courtney Van Der Werf surged down the centre of the track to upset race favourite Pendeloque.

Theresa Bateup trained Burden Of Proof was third.

Jockeys Bobby El-Issa, Nick Heywood, Rachel King and Mitchell Bell also had winners in front of a healthy crowd. 

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