While timing ruled Ecuador out of a Villiers Stakes tilt, the style of his dashing first-up win under a big weight has signalled the seven-year-old will remain a threat in stakes company.
Trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Ecuador carried 62kg and defied a betting drift from $9 to $15 to win the December Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Jockey Adam Hyeronimus urged Ecuador through a gap at the 150m mark and he shot past the $2.40 favourite Snoopy to win by a length.
Off The Rails ($61) finished third.
It was an impressive effort from Ecuador who won a Listed race over 2400m last preparation.
“We know he goes well fresh but we were particularly pleased with the way he’s come back this preparation,” Bott said.
“We were originally hoping to have him back up and going for a race like the Villiers.
“He just took a little bit longer to come to hand being an older horse.”
Bott said the stable had not considered using a claiming apprentice given Hyeronimus’s record on the horse which now stands at four wins from six starts.
“Adam has got a really good association with the horse so we’d much prefer that,” Bott said.
Class prevailed for Ecuador who little more than a year ago ran second to wonder mare Winx in the Group One Epsom Handicap.
Bott said there was no program mapped out for Ecuador who took his career earnings past $750,000 with his eighth win.
The victory brought up a race-to-race double for Waterhouse and Bott with Cabeza De Vaca taking out the 1500m benchmark handicap.
Christmas came one day early for Bjorn Baker who trained four winners in less than hour including a race-to-race double at Rosehill with Embley and Bonny O’Reilly.
That was punctuated by a brace at Scone’s country meeting.
“That’s all I wanted for Christmas I must be honest,” Baker said.
Baker said he was inclined to give Bonny O’Reilly a break after she took her winning record for four from six attempts.
“She’ll get black type for sure. If she does she’s a very valuable prospect,” he said.