A decision to drop Loyalty Man back in distance to 1600m has proven a winning move.
The Mike Moroney-trained Loyalty Man raced to a hard-fought win in Saturday’s Les Carlyon AC Handicap at Flemington, a performance which could have earned him a shot at next month’s Group Two Queensland Guineas over the same distance.
Loyalty Man was tested as a potential Queensland Derby hope last start over 1800m at Caulfield but when he could only finish third to Unbreakable it was decided he would be better served over shorter distances.
With apprentice Jake Bayliss retaining the ride, Loyalty Man added to his two city victories at Sandown earlier this campaign.
And Bayliss insists Loyalty Man has more to offer when he puts it all together.
“He travels up like he’s going to win by three or four, hits the front and clocks off and thinks it’s game over,” Bayliss said.
“Then when there’s a bit of competition he comes again.
“He’s a very nice horse.”
After sitting fifth on the fence, Loyalty Man took a split early in the straight and raced to the front at the 300m before Sir Sagamore came up on his inside to challenge.
Loyalty Man, the $4.60 favourite, responded to win by a long head with Whoop Whoop running home well to finish another length away.
Part-owner Rupert Legh said the Queensland Guineas was an option.
“We agreed after last start we don’t think he’ll get past a strong mile,” Legh said.
Bayliss’s win came a race after his younger brother Regan was successful aboard Mihany.