Melbourne trip on the cards as Able One bags another group trophy
There may have been some regrets in the John Moore stable about missing a trip to the Yasuda Kinen in Japan after Able One took the Group Three Prince Jewellery & Watch Premier Cup (1,400m), but the gelding might get his chance of a trip away yet.
With Moore in England supervising the final preparations of Happy Zero going into Saturday's Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, jockey Darren Beadman was the stable spokesman after Able One landed his third Group win on end in the final Sha Tin black-type feature for the term.
Well backed coming off wins in the Group Two Chairman's Trophy and Group One Champions Mile, Able One overcame a wide gate and gave backers little cause for concern, winning the event for the second time but at much shorter odds than his 30-1 quote two years ago.
'He's just been flying this horse and I was a little disappointed he didn't go to Japan, but this is a nice consolation. He's a really happy horse at the moment and it's showing,' Beadman said of the seven-year-old.
'It isn't that long ago - 12 months, maybe 18 months ago - he was always on edge and working hard within himself on the track of a morning.'
Stress fracture injuries Able One suffered from kicking out during his 'bad mood' days in 2008 and early 2009 saw him miss most of last year, but maturity has mellowed the gelding.
'Now he's giving himself more longevity by switching off in the mornings and he's doing it on race day as well,' Beadman said.
Despite a difficult draw in gate 13, Beadman was able to slide across in the early stages and park in the ideal spot, just behind the leaders with cover and Able One had the ammunition to capitalise.
'The gate looked a query but he has the pace to do something with him and, once you get into a spot like that, you know that he's also got a gear or two when you turn for home, to make the most of the run that he's had,' Beadman said.
'But his win today shouldn't be underestimated - a lot of these horses coming back to handicaps from the set weight races find it tough at the weights. He was giving some of those horses more than 20 pounds and that's a lot of pudding.'
Beadman said he believed Moore was toying with the idea of a trip to Melbourne's spring carnival with Able One later this year, a path he trod with Super Kid several years his ago.
Super Kid just missed in photo finishes to take out two Group Ones at Caulfield over 1,400m and 1,600m, and Able One might be targeting the same races on the way to a Cox Plate start.
'The distance is a little query with him for a race like the Cox Plate, but ridden cold he might be a chance of getting it - he did run a close fourth in the Derby here at 2,000m,' Beadman said. 'But there are some nice 1,400-1,600m options for him there anyway if he was to make the trip.'