Precocious colt Summer Passage has strengthened his case for an autumn trip across the Tasman with an impressive home track triumph to open his black type account.
The pacy son of Snitzel made full use of an inside gate to pave the way for a front-running victory in the Listed Reid & Harrison Ltd Slipper at Matamata yesterday.
Trained by Lance O'Sullivan and Andrew Scott for Hermitage Thoroughbreds, who also raced the group one Livamol Classic winner Willie Cazals out of Wexford Stables, the youngster's immediate future will be up for discussion next week.
Options include the $A3.5 million group one Golden Slipper and the $A1 million ATC Sires' Produce Stakes should connections be keen on Sydney.
"There will be a board room meeting, but he's still got to improve to get to those heights," Scott said.
An $A800,000 Sydney yearling, Summer Passage finished runner-up on debut at Pukekohe last month from an outside alley, but on Saturday he was able to hold the front from an inside barrier.
"There was a lot of pressure early in the race when they went hell for leather and then he kicked off the corner," Scott said. "That was really encouraging for the future."
Summer Passage was clear 200 metres from home and under the urgings of Craig Grylls he held a strong gallop to win by half a length.
"We had to take bad luck out of it and put him in the race," Grylls said. "He came back to me nicely and he had a good kick.
"He put it all together today and he's a very strong colt with a brilliant action."
Summer Monsoon closed well to finish runner-up ahead of Hanger, who acquitted himself well on debut.
The favourite Aim Smart, who had Summer Passage's measure at their previous meeting, was given a cosy run near the pace but he had nothing to offer rider Vinnie Colgan in the straight and they beat only one runner home.
- NZ Racing Desk.