Trainer Shawn Mathrick was thrilled with Adirondack’s performance for success in the Vobis Gold Heath (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday, and has underlined the 2016 Darwin Cup (2000m) as the hopeful target for the classy gelding.
Adirondack transferred to the care of Mathrick after being purchased at the Godolphin sales at the conclusion of 2015, and has posted four wins and a minor through eight starts for the Cranbourne-based trainer.
Jumping from the gates well in the Gold Heath, jockey Ben Melham allowed the son of Lonhro to stride forward and immediately take up the pace; challenged rounding onto the final straight but mustering an impressive turn of foot to hit the line more than five lengths in the clear.
Adirondack had no luck in either of his two starts leading into the Gold Heath and Mathrick was thrilled the horse was able to find clear running on Saturday.
“We had a crack at the Stony Creek Cup and I thought he’d win that, but he didn’t have any luck in the race,” Mathrick told Racing Ahead.
“Again at Caulfield we didn’t have any luck, he was a bit fierce and just kept rolling on so he cost himself the race.
“We knew he had the ability and I did the form in the race backwards and just thought the way the track was playing, he was unbeatable.
“I thought Firehouse Rock was our only danger and when he loomed up on the outside on the corner I thought he we go, we’re going to run a great second again, but he found another gear which was pretty exciting.”
Revealing he may set the horse for a black type tilt in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on the Gold Coast in early May, Mathrick is confident the conditions of the 2016 Darwin Cup would play to the strengths of Adirondack.
“I’m not really sure,” Mathrick said.
“I’m not sure how much he improved or if the others just weren’t really up there.
“But looking at the times he ran on his last 400m, he looked like he’s gone to another level so if I can find a nice 1800m or 2000m Group 3 I might have a little crack at one of them and see where he’s at.
“Maybe the Gold Coast, it’s a nice front-running track and then out for a spell and off to Darwin I think.
“I’ve got family up there so it would be a bit of fun.”
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