The continued development of the Australian Guineas winner Ferlax has more than pleased Victorian trainer Jim Conlan.
The duo arrived at Randwick on Thursday and Conlan is confident the unbeaten colt is a leading contender in Saturday’s Randwick Guineas at Warwick Farm.
“He has settled in, I’m happy with him,” Conlan said on Friday.
“I took him for a spin on the dirt track this morning and there was no problem. He is back in his box, he ate his breakfast, he is as happy as a bird.”
Owned by Conlan loyalist Jonathon Munz Ferlax collected the group 1 Australian Guineas at start number four.
It was no ordinary route to major race glory for Ferlax kicked off the winning streak at Eucha then won at Benalla and Sale.
“I still ride work, I’ve ridden this horse in all his work, even before he went to the races,” Conlan said.
“What this horse is doing now he couldn’t do when he started off. Each time he gets better and better.
“Before he went to his maiden he’d worked well enough to think he’d just win, he went to a 62 rater and you thought on his work he’d just win that.
“It [work] wasn’t good enough to go straight into a group race but before the 68 race he gave me that feel again.”
Conlan reckons bloodstock agent Dean Hawthorn and Munz are deserving of special mention.
“I’ve got a dozen horses in work and Jonathon owns nine of them, he is a beauty,” Conlan said.
“He is my main man. Dean deserves a lot of credit, he does all Jonathon’s bloodstock work.
“This horse was the one they identified, they wanted him.”
Conlan is more than just happy.
“Going into the Australian Guineas I thought if All Too Hard wasn’t in it, mine would be right in the race,” Conlan said.
As it proved for Black Caviar’s little brother All Too Hard was scratched on the morning of the Australian Guineas.
“Since the guineas win mine has worked like a better horse,” Conlan said.
“He needs too, this is a much stronger race than the other guineas. It’s A Dundeal, Proisir, Rebel Dane, these are seasoned horses.
“Mine had a little 10 day break after his maiden, really it is still his first preparation.”
Conlan describes Ferlax as “a nice horse” and adds “he is 16 hands, a big lump”.
“He has a good physique, he is sound, he has got the whole package,” Conlan said.
“If he can be competitive tomorrow he is going to end up a real good horse. With maturity and the trip away and it is going to make him.
“I’m not thinking he is just going to win, I’m thinking I’ve got the right horse, he is going well enough for us to be confident.
“I’m happy, if I’m happy with the horse that does me, the whole camp is happy.”
By Craig Young