By Isaac Murphy
Trusty Lad saved his best for last in the inaugural three-year-old Eagle Way Stayers Series, storming down the middle of the track to mark himself as a potential Derby horse for trainer Matt Kropp in 2019.
After his fourth-place run in the second leg of the series, jockey James Orman told Kropp the colt would do his best work at 2000m and beyond.
Orman's prediction proved correct when Trustry Lad outstayed his rivals over the final furlong of the 2200m test, hitting the line strongly to win by 1.75L.
Kropp said his rising stayer hadn’t had much luck in previous runs, with difficult barriers and unsuitable race patterns hampering his runs.
However, the Dalby trainer still held an ace up his sleeve.
“The blinkers were something we were hoping to keep up for further down the track, but we decided to put them on today and ultimately it’s probably made the difference,” Kropp said.
“He hasn’t had a lot of luck with bad barriers and getting flushed out at the wrong time, we got to see what he can do today.
“The race played into our hands, there was not a huge amount of tempo and I knew he had a pretty good turn of foot.”
Kropp said the Eagle Way Series came at the perfect time for his three-year-old as he embarked on his second prep.
“The Eagle Way Series has given us a really good guide on what kind of colt he is, but I think it’s time to take a spell,” he said.
“I’ll send him to the paddock now and bring him back hopefully as a Derby horse in the Autumn.”
Orman has built a good rapport with the rising stayer and knew he had plenty of horse under him in the run.
“They were going very slowly down the back, I thought about setting him alight,” Orman said.
“But all the horses I was worried about were behind me, so I decided to hang in there and sit and sprint.
“He’s well on the way to be Derby horse in my opinion, he should only come back stronger next prep.”