Winning Partner has captured a pair of SA listed 1600m features over the past month, but could be just as effective over further, according to his jockey, Barend Vorster.
The McEvoy-trained gelding made a one-act affair of last Friday’s $100,000 Murray Bridge Gold Cup, saluting by a widening 1.5-lengths in a near-carbon copy of his Balaklava Cup win a month earlier.
Winning Partner was placed in two Melbourne runs earlier this year, before encountering a heavy 10 track at a Moonee Valley meeting that was ultimately called off before the program was completed.
Since returning to SA, the five-year-old has dominated his two local starts and Vorster says the manner of those wins suggests success beyond a mile is on the cards.
“He ran some good races in Melbourne when he was there, but he’s really taken a step up to the next level and seems really happy as well,” Vorster said.
“He loves the mile trip, (but) I think the manner he’s racing in at the moment, I wouldn’t hesitate in stepping him up in trip a bit further.
“I’ll leave it up to Tony (McEvoy) though – he knows what he’s doing.”
Winning Partner could next target the Listed 1800m John Letts Cup (formerly known as the Tokyo City Cup) at Morphettville on Saturday, October 31, before a possible interstate trip for the back-end of the Victorian spring carnival.
Vorster said he was “very confident” during the run last Friday.
“It was quite a dominant win at Murray Bridge,” he said.
“He travelled up beautifully for me and turning for home I felt very confident. When I asked the question he really put them away.”
Last Friday’s win took Winning Partner’s record to six wins and six placings from 23 career starts, amassing $358,000 in prizemoney to date.