EMERGING Benicio stayer Cuban Sunday earned the crack at the Gr.2 Alister Clark Stakes when carrying Vinery’s famous green and white ‘V’ colours to victory at Sandown this afternoon.
The rapidly improving Benicio gelding, Cuban Sunday came away to win the MRC Cove Hotel Handicap (2100m) by nearly two lengths clocking an impressive 34.39 seconds for the last 600m.
Cuban Sunday won on debut as a 2yo over 1200m but he definitely has a bright future as a stayer having now won consecutive races beyond a mile.
Trainer Mick Price told AAP the Alister Clark (2040m) under lights at Moonee Valley on March 18 was a stepping stone for Cuban Sunday while he holds a faint hope of getting him to the South Australian Derby (2500m) on May 7.
“The Alister Clark is in nine days and is probably a good race for him to have a go at,” Price said.
Cuban Sunday has had five runs this campaign and last start and should have won more easily at Kyneton when he got up in a photo finish after being boxed in until late in the race.
“He’s a nice horse and I would like to get him to the SA Derby but it is going to be hard to keep him up that long,” Price said.
“You have got to get the timing right and I am just hoping there is enough petrol in the tank.
“We may have some sort of attempt at it but it will be difficult because he is quite a high energy horse and burns off a bit of fuel.”
Ridden by apprentice Jake Noonan, Cuban Sunday ($6) settled in the first four and had too much stamina for his rivals scoring by 1-3/4 lengths from favourite Right Of Refusal ($4) and Mr Consolidator ($4.80).
“He has really come back in great order in this his second preparation,” Vinery’s Conor Phelan said,”he seems to be getting better every time he steps out on to the racecourse.
Today’s double comes in the wake of star mare Dubleanny carrying the Vinery colours to victory in an outstanding return to racing at Flemington last Saturday.
Also trained by Mick Price, the daughter of Dubleo will now be given the chance to emulate another Vinery-owned mare, Bel Mer, in the Group One SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes last this month