Dawn Passage on track for Golden Eagle

Adrian Bott saw enough from Dawn Passage in a barrier trial on Tuesday to give the trainer confidence that the $7.5 million TAB Golden Eagle is a realistic target despite the timeline being “a little bit tight”.

Dawn Passage last raced when going down as favourite in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in Queensland back in June and he made his seasonal return in a 1030m trial at Rosehill.

Ridden by Adam Hyeronimus, Dawn Passage led early before racing with cover in a midfield position, making up late ground to finish second to the Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou-trained Keiai Tsubaki.

“It was a good trial from him,” Bott, who trains in partnership with Gai Waterhouse, said. “Very pleasing.

“He even surprised me with the gate speed he showed.

“He’s still got a lot of improvement coming out of that today.

“He’s on a Golden Eagle path. The scheduling is going to be a little bit tight getting him there.”

Adrian Bott at the launch of the Everest Carnival on Monday. Picture: NCA Newswire / Gaye Gerard.Source:News Corp Australia

Bott said Dawn Passage is likely to trial again on September 25 at Randwick or three days later at Rosehill before resuming in the $500,000 Silver Eagle (1300m) at Randwick on October 10.

Dawn Passage surged through the grades during the autumn campaign of his three-year-old season winning the Hawkesbury Guineas, Inglis Guineas and Fred Best Classic en route to the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm where he finished out of the placings after drawing the outside barrier in the field of 18.

Bott described the son of Dawn Approach as a horse that took longer than most to develop “mentally and tactically”.

“He kicked off in the right manner, was explosive on debut then didn’t get the right conditions in the Inglis Millennium at his second start but look back and he was beaten by a horse called Castelvecchio,” he said.

“He still wasn’t quite seasoned enough in his spring three-year-old season but after winning the Rosebud he wasn’t beaten that far in the Golden Rose behind horses like Bivouac, Yes Yes Yes and Exceedance.

“In the autumn, everything started coming together for him.

“He developed further mentally and tactically he added a few more strings to his bow and was able to race a bit more prominently and still show that same turn of foot.

“It just takes a bit of racing for some horses and he’s been that type of horse.”

Dawn Passage wins the Inglis 3YO Guineas. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

The one aspect of the Golden Eagle that excites Dawn Passage’s co-trainer is the distance of the race which will be run on October 31.

TAB.com.au has Dawn Passage listed at $26 for the Golden Eagle

“I’ve always thought is a miler but the way the races have worked out, we’ve never had the opportunity to test him over it,” Bott said.

“So, I do think there is possibly further improvement to come.

“He could be more effective over a mile so the 1500m of the Golden Eagle shouldn’t be a problem.

“He’s always raced well at Rosehill when he’s had his share of fair luck.

“He’s developed into a versatile racehorse now which is another plus. On speed, stalk the speed or get back – he’s been effective doing it all.”

Originally published asDawn Passage on track for Golden Eagle

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