Matt Laurie may have unveiled a potential Group 1 performer on Wednesday at Bendigo, where Mornington Glory impressed with a debut win in the opening race of the day.
The three-year-old colt was sent around as a $1.50 favourite in the 1100m Maiden Plate and justified the short quote, winning by 3.75 lengths on the line to second favourite Foturi.
Mornington Glory had been given only one trial at Casterton in preparation for his debut run and finished third behind Talent Quest and Frontman, with the latter winning by 2.75 lengths at Mornington at his most recent start, indicating that the trial was a good form reference.
“The best winners are the long-priced ones because you don’t expect them,” Laurie said on Racing.com.
“We’ve had a big opinion of this horse right from the beginning and it’s nice to see them kick off in good fashion.”
After settling outside the leader in the run, jockey Luke Currie had to urge the son of Shalaa along ever so slightly at the top of the straight to get past the rank outsider of the field, but he quickly clicked into gear and raced away with the prize on debut at ‘The Nursery of Champions’.
“He’s only going to be better when there’s horses going quicker in front of him – something for him to settle off,” Laurie said.
“A couple of taps with the stick and he really put it together late.
“He’ll improve a hell of a lot from today.”
Mornington Glory was a $340,000 yearling purchase and is a half brother to Group 1 sires Needs Further and Group 1 winner Hallowed Crown.
The dominant victory saw him firm from $41 into $21 in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m), which will be run and won on Derby Day at Flemington, while he is also a $34 in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m), although the latter will likely come too soon for the colt.
The Coolmore is said to be right on his trainer’s agenda, with the Danehill Stakes also a possibility along the way.