Relaxed Eagle Regiment ready to take turns
Olivier Doleuze stamped sprinter Eagle Regiment as a star in the making after a dominant Class Two Handicap win and said the classy galloper was ready to take on a turning circuit for the first time.
Eagle Regiment gave favourite backers no cause for concern when he easily put away a decent field over the 1,000m straight course, his fourth win from seven starts, which have all been at the same circuit.
Hence, the Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained four-year-old has never raced around a turn, but Doleuze said the son of El Moxie had returned a more settled individual and was ready for bigger challenges.
'No problem at all, he's a good horse,' the Frenchman said. 'I can't see the reason why he would not turn, he does it every morning.' 'He does everything like a champion; he doesn't pull, he doesn't sweat. Not too many horses are exciting like that to win like that first-up without a hard preparation. He's very quiet now and just relaxes.'
Doleuze had Eagle Regiment positioned just in behind the speed and seemed to be niggling at the horse to stay handy throughout. But when the rider pulled clear with 200m to go, Eagle Regiment put the opposition away in convincing fashion.
'All the race I have to ask him [for effort], because I didn't want to have too much ground to make up,' said Doleuze, who was warming the saddle for the absent Brett Prebble.
'I didn't want to take any risks, so I put him in the middle and the clear running.'
Man said plans for the potential Group winner were in the hands of the handicapper. Rated 89 yesterday, he faces a considerable rise this week.
'Where he goes next will depend on the rating,' Man said. 'If he is still under 100 after today, then I might give him another 1,000m race, but if he goes up 11 points, then I might try him at 1,200m.'
Runner-up in the race was Eternal Beauty, who equipped himself well first time in Class Two and Vital Flyer was third.
Eagle Regiment was a bargain buy, costing just A$150,000 (HK$1.22 million) as a yearling in Australia.
'I think at that time it was less than you had to pay for the subscription griffins,' Man said.
Doleuze was actually aboard the gelding on debut back in January, when he was beaten after there was a huge betting move for the horse.
'I was very pleased to have the chance to ride him again and wow,' a delighted Doleuze said.