Augustano just keeps getting better
New owner, King Power Stable, could squueze more wins from a good horse
It may be September, but time waits for no horse as AUGUSTANO continued on his merry way with back-to-back wins on Sunday.
After two sound runs as a two-year-old, the Hard Spun three-year-old duly opened his account at his last start in Restricted Maiden company three weeks ago, aptly in the month he is named after, on Aug 20.
And stepping up to Class 4 company in the $60,000 Tabcorp Holdings Limited Trophy over the same 1,200m trip on Sept 10 turned out to be no major hurdle.
However, the outermost alley in barrier No. 12 was on paper one significant drawback, but a smart jump under replacement rider Manoel Nunes (Michael Rodd could not make the 55kg weight) saw Augustano ($17) swiftly take up a forward spot barely one furlong into the race.
With Alaranch (Ng Choon Kiat) not in a courteous mood on his inside, Nunes did not press further, happy to just sit in a one-off spot before going pedal to the metal upon straightening.
The Thai-owned galloper immediately opened up to a decisive break hard up against the rails while the chasing pack looked a little flat-footed.
Under Nunes' hard riding, Augustano kept finding all the way to the line, falling in by two-and-a-quarter lengths from longshot White Coffee (Mohd Zaki) with Katagas in third place another head away.
"It was a good tough effort. I'm very happy with that. He's done a good job," said winning trainer Cliff Brown. There were two options. If he didn't jump clean, then take a sit, but if he jumped well, to go forward.
"He keeps progressing and the new owner has been very good to me. He has some bright lovely horses with me."
Nunes jumped off feeling a bit sorry for Rodd, but certainly not for himself as he was ringing up his fifth win for the weekend, albeit still 13 winners behind runaway leader Vlad Duric.
"I feel sorry for Mike, but that's racing. He's a lovely horse and Cliffy told me he was a straightforward horse to ride," said the Brazilian three-time Singapore champion jockey.
"He told me he's a horse you should not dig up, just let him stride. He broke so well that we found ourselves in front.
"There was no need to cross as he was so comfortable. In the straight, he gave a very good kick and won quite easily in the end."
With that second success, Augustano has seen his account swell past the $90,000 mark for the King Power Stable.