Press Charges launched a black-type autumn for Press Statement when he overcame a series of mishaps in running to win the Listed Southland Guineas (1600m) at Ascot Park on Saturday.

The Ben Foote-trained 3yo had arrived from the North Island to land a last-stride Wingatui maiden on debut last month and leading jockey Lisa Allpress travelled to Invercargill to continue the Northern raider’s learning curve in the South Island.

Allpress was at a disadvantage from the outset when the saddle slipped back shortly after the start.  She was obliged to sit three-wide before levelling up to odds-on favourite Specialty (Rip Van Winkle) and then lifting him to a never-say-die victory.  “Specialty looked pretty tough to beat but we had plenty of confidence he could run a good race,” Foote said.  “I wondered what Lisa was doing when she went forward, but when I saw the finish the number-cloth was over his bum.

“It certainly wasn’t the tactics I thought were going to be used but as it turned out he was really brave.  He kicked away at the end even though the saddle slipped further back over the last 100 metres.”

Press Charges was bred by Ben Kwok by using Press Statement over his winning Northern Meteor mare Max It Out.  She’s three-for-three at stud having already thrown his full-brother Full Press and half-brother Maximum Output (All Too Hard).  Kwok also bred last week’s maiden winner Insatiable (All Too Hard) who was very impressive second time out for Te Akau Racing at Taupo.

“Press Charges is definitely on the market,” Foote said.  “We bought a number of yearlings at the sales recently so getting some money in would be nice.”  He’s the fifth Stakes winner by Press Statement and the likely destination is Hong Kong where the Vinery sire has made an impact with winners like Act Of Faith, Free Foal, Steel Win, Packing Famous and Hurry Hurry Gain.

Trainer Peter Hardacre signalled a sixth Stakes winner for Press Statement with Press Down at Morphettville on Saturday.  The exciting 3yo let down like a good horse to overhaul short-priced favourite Dunmaghlas in the Junction Hcp (1300m).

It was Press Down’s first start in Adelaide off a winning debut on home turf at Murray Bridge in October.  “We brought him here today to see how he handled the Parks track,” Hardacre said.  “We’ve always had a pretty big opinion of him and today was that next little step in his journey.

“Todd (Pannell) reckons there’s still plenty of improvement so hopefully we can keep raising the bar,” Hardacre said.  “He wobbled around the turn but he’s certainly top of the tree among my young ones coming through.”

Hardacre will target the Listed Nitschke Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville on April 22.  Press Down’s dam Down The Corridor (Invincible Spirit) has also foaled the Hardacre-trained winners Little Heath (Reward For Effort) and Three Tears (Helmet).  They’re raced by Naracoorte breeder Ian Perkins with a large stable syndicate.  Her latest deliveries are a Press Statement 2yo filly and an All Too Hard filly foal.

Press Statement has two black-type gallopers who could strike before Press Down.  Roots worked home pleasingly for a first-up third in the Millie Fox Stakes (Gr.2, 1300m) at Rosehill on Saturday and she will be trained to the minute by Chris Waller for the Queen Of The Turf Stakes (Gr.1, 1600m) at Randwick on April 8.

Elkington Road was equally impressive first-up on Saturday when a closing fourth in the C S Hayes Stakes (Gr.3, 1400m) at Flemington.  He was beaten half-length and finished amid a wall of horseflesh after being held up for a furlong in the straight.

Trainer  Michael Moroney has entered Elkington Road for five Group 1 events at The Championships starting with the Randwick Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m) on March 4.  Bred by Roger Sousa and Sam Connors, he was a $240,000 Melbourne Premier graduate for a syndicate that includes Moroney’s Ballymore Stables and Rupert Legh Racing.