Smart three-year-old Thateldo gave notice of his potential with an impressive win in the Westralian Diamond Drillers Handicap (1000m) at Belmont Park.
Despite facing the outside draw in the quality field of 10, Thateldo was backed from $3.50 to $2.90 on course and didn’t let punters down.
Jockey Jason Brown got the Charge Forward gelding across from barrier 10 to sit fourth, as Travinator and Park Lane set a frenetic pace in front.
Thateldo sprinted powerfully late to hit the lead and held off the fast-finishing Dominating ($9) to score by 3/4-of-a-length.
Modello ($10) ran a close-up third while Travinator ($3.50) faded in the concluding stages to run fourth.
Trainer Jim Taylor has another smart sprinter on his hands with Thateldo, who boosted his record to six wins from 12 starts.
Taylor rates Thateldo the third fastest horse in his stable behind Group 1 winner Barakey and Roma Cup winner Magnifisio.
“That was my only doubt,” Taylor said of Thateldo’s wide draw.
“Before the barriers came out I was pretty confident he would win first-up.
“With the fast pace Jason slotted him in beautifully.
“The 1000 is probably a bit short for him – he’s more of a 1200 horse.
“He’s probably my third best horse and he’s a three-year-old.
“As a four-year-old he should only get better.”
Meanwhile, trainer Brett Pope scored a double with promising prospects Bayatorio and Prohurst Express.
Bayatorio firmed from $6.50 to $4.80 and responded strongly to a challenge from Step Right Up, who was plunged from $14 to $8.
Bayatorio, who settled outside of the lead in the Rotary Club of Perth Handicap (1400m), held on to beat Step Right Up by a neck.
Pope will aim Bayatorio at the $100,000 Belmont Guineas (1600m) next month.
Prohurst Express won the following race, the Reed Resources Handicap (1000m), beating Kyleena by 3/4-of-a-length.
Prohurst Express was first-up after a strong debut campaign, which featured two dominant wins at Pinjarra.
“His half-brother (Hartleys Dream) ran second in a Railway,” Pope said.
“He’s come back a nice horse.”
Another promising galloper, On The Ropes, also won first-up when he beat It’s A Merc in the H and N Perry Handicap (1000m).
“I think he’s got quite good ability but he’s not the easiest horse to train,” trainer Fred Kersley said.