Four-year-old Astronomos beat a handy field to the line in a Randwick race over 2000m this last weekend, and trainer David Vandyke has revealed the 2015 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) on September 18th.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Jason Collet settled Astronomos in prime position on the heels of the race’s early leaders who set only a fair tempo over the back straight and towards the Randwick turn.
Rounding onto the final straight with plenty to do, the New Approach entire immediately responded when ask for an extra effort by Collet; producing an impressive turn of foot to finish half a length in the clear of Loophole.
Having beaten only a single runner home in a Randwick minor over 1500m in his start prior to Saturday’s success, Vandkye was thrilled with Astronomos’ win and is confident another step-up will play into his strengths in the 2015 Newcastle Gold Cup.
“He is a horse that just keeps improving, which is very exciting,” Vandyke said.
“It is hard to understand how the horse can throw the start away and not go early.
“Jason Collett was really hunting him up and trying to get him to participate for the first 200 and then he was spotting them a very big start midrace and yet turning into the straight he switches on, knows where the post is and gets up and wins by a head.
“It is no fluke because he did the same thing the last time he went to Randwick.
“Going on his recovery from Saturday, I think that he is a horse that keeps a little bit in reserve and he is definitely now looking for further.
“He will run Friday week in the Newcastle Cup.
“It will be a big step-up because he has just been racing in benchmark races up until now.
“The Newcastle Cup is a Group 3 and he will be taking on horses like The Offer and Beyond Thankful that have proven themselves in stakes company.
“The upside for him will be the 2300, I have been dying to see him over further than 2000 and he will drop to the limit of 54.
“Whenever we have asked him to step-up he has.”
Astronomos is yet to contest a race at black type level, but has posted an impressive six wins through his nine start career so far.
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