The Australian Derby will be Grandslam’s next target after jockey Jamie Kah produced another masterclass in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes.
Kah’s terrific frontrunning ride gave Grandslam’s rivals no chance of running him down from the 600m before the brother to Caulfield Cup winner Jameka strode to a 6-1/4 length win.
Trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace booked Kah with the aim of sending Grandslam forward after the three-year-old was well held after racing back in the field from wide barriers at his previous two runs.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Grandslam’s win was a contrast to the last time he led in the Cox Plate, in which he wilted under pressure to finish last behind Sir Dragonet.
However, Grandslam seemed to get stronger with each sectional in the Alister Clark Stakes, as Kah perfectly rated the colt before shooting clear at the 500m.
The odds-on favourite Cherry Tortoni was never a winning chance with Young Werther and Explosive Jack outsprinting him in the straight to take the minor placings.
“He had plenty left on the line and was pulling away from them,” Kah said.
“I had a little glance at the (infield) screen because he felt like he was finding and he felt like he was kicking but I still thought that I was waiting for Cherry Tortoni to come past us but he was very strong.”
Grandslam and @jamieleekah07 race away with the Alister Clark Stakes. pic.twitter.com/EtGQBKGcUD
Four Australian Derby winners have emerged from the Alister Clark Stakes in the last 30 years.
Levendi and Ethiopia finished second in the Alister Clark Stakes before winning the Derby in 2018 and 2012 respectively.
Star gallopers Durbridge (1991) and Naturalism (1992) won both the Alister Clark Stakes and Australian Derby.
Maher said Grandslam would have a chance to outdo Jameka‘s Australian Derby performance when he gets to Randwick on April 3.
“It’s an almost similar ownership group to Jameka,” Maher said.
“I’m really excited and he’s en route to the (Australian) Derby now. She (Jameka) was second in it and hopefully he can go one better.”
Grandslam firmed into $11 in TAB‘s Australian Derby market.
Originally published asKah slam dunk books colt Derby ticket
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