Cartel set for Sydney debut in Highway

An unexpected win on debut for promising colt Cartel has convinced Goulburn trainer Danny Williams to embark on a Rosehill road trip.

Williams said the quality of the three-year-old’s victory on his home track over 1000 metres in June meant a Highway Handicap had to be factored in as Cartel gradually steps up in distance.

“We didn’t expect the horse to win,” Williams said.

“He’s a mile to 2000 metre horse. He just won on sheer ability and raw talent first-up.

“I think he was spotting them four or five lengths with 200 to go.”

Cartel finished strongly to score by a short neck before being given a seven-week let-up.

“He’s taken a lot of benefit from that run but he’s still a very casual colt,” Williams said.

“He only does as much as he requires.”

Cartel will wear blinkers along with a crossover noseband and a tongue tie.

“He’s just a little bit immature at this stage. We want to make sure he’s sharp and focused,” Williams said.

Other than Cartel’s inexperience Williams’ main concern is the 1100 metres on Saturday might be too short.

Williams had also intended to start three-year-old filly Lady Eleanor in a 1550m-maiden at Canterbury on Wednesday but opted to keep her home for a second start at Goulburn over 1500m on Monday.

Lady Eleanor is among 237 entries taken on Tuesday for the Group One Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 14 with Williams keen to get her to the VRC Oaks (2500m) the following month.

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