Lofty strikes at Flemington
Lofty Strike has a two-year-old pedigree many would envy but trainer Julius Sandhu was reluctant to rush into committing to next month's Blue Diamond Stakes after the Snitzel colt won on debut at Flemington on Saturday.
Lofty Strike won over 1100 metres, the penultimate Melbourne two-year-old race prior this year's Blue Diamond series which starts in 11 days. He is out of 2013 Golden Slipper winner Overreach, the second of just her two living foals purchased for $280,000 from last year's Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
Jamie Mott positioned Lofty Strike just behind a strong pace, established by the fancied English Riviera before switching over heels inside the final 250 metres to cause an upset.
“It’s just good to see him come to the track and actually do it," Sandhu said.
"I was a bit concerned first time coming to the Flemington straight, it’s not easy for most horses but he’s really professional - to see him come there and put it all together, he didn’t do much wrong, he got a bit lost when he came to the outside but he let down.
"He’s got a nice turn of foot and to see him do it on race day on a big stage is obviously very pleasing."
Sandhu, in preparing his first juvenile winner on a Melbourne Saturday program, said he would monitor how Lofty Strike recovers from his debut outing prior to committing to the $1.5 million Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 26, Melbourne's lone Group 1 race for two-year-olds.
“I don’t know but he’s in it and we’ve paid up," Sandhu said. "Obviously, this is a starting point and he’s got to pull up well from this, he’s got to do all the right things back home.
"He’ll go to one of the qualifiers and has to do all the right things there, the old cliche but we’ll take it one race at a time.
"He’s only a two-year-old and he’s a big horse, we have to make sure he pulls up good and go from there."