Haggas Tempted By Impressionist’s Tancred Opportunity

It’s not common practice for UK trainers to back up a horse within seven days of a 2400m win but William Haggas is being opportunistic about giving Post Impressionist the chance to repeat his stunning Australian debut at Rosehill on Saturday.

Isabella Paul, stable rep for trainer William Haggas.

A few days after his runaway win in the NE Manion Cup, a Group 3 handicap, the Haggas team feels the chance to win the Group 1 $1.5m Kia Tancred Stakes (2400m) may be too good to pass up.

While next month’s Sydney Cup (3200m) has been the five-year-old’s aim he’s come through his win in such good order that Isabella Paul, travelling assistant to Haggas, says it’s “tempting”.

“He’s obviously run a very good race and come out of it well,’’ Paul said.

“It wouldn’t necessarily have been the original plan but it’s kind of tempting given how he won last week. It was a beautiful ride from Tom (Marquand) but he had to do everything the hard way.

“This is not something we usually do, we only arrived a bit over three weeks ago.

“It’s tough enough for them to come off a long flight, two weeks quarantine in the UK, two weeks quarantine here, he’s had a week and moved house because the Japanese horse (Obamburumai) is here.

“I think (the Tancred) was vaguely on the radar but until he won the way he did I don’t think I was a serious possibility.”

Post Impressionist, $2.40 in the Tancred with TAB on Wednesday, will have a light week regardless of whether he runs in Saturday’s weight-for-age Group 1.

He stretched his legs at Canterbury on Wednesday morning with Paul reporting that he’s feeling in A1 condition.

“He’s moving well, he’s put on weight so I think it’s just about seeing how the horse is and he’ll tell us whether it’s the right decision,’’ she said.

“We had a little trot down to the winning post then cantered a lap on the turf, I like to keep them on the grass. They enjoy it.

“It’s always interesting to see how they run first-up, they’re coming out of a winter and have had a long time off.

“He’s got some very good bits of form but he has some patchy bits of form as well. So it’s not necessarily raised expectations but it was good to see him do it the way he did.”

Haggas indicated on radio on Wednesday morning that Post Impressionist may not run in both the Tancred and the Sydney Cup.

The Manion Cup win cost the gelding a 2kg penalty taking his weight to 52kg and if weights are raised further, as it’s appearing, he’ll lift to a weight that brings Marquand back into the picture to take that ride.

In the few years Haggas has been bringing horses to Sydney his two previous Manion Cup winners, Young Rascal and Favorite Moon, have failed to replicate their performances in the Sydney Cup but Paul suspects Post Impressionist could be a different story.

“The three-year-olds who just turned four don’t have a great record in the race and this horse is four just turned five,’’ she said.

“Whether that gives him that bit more maturity, we’re hopeful that might make a difference.

“The way he won on Saturday you’d think he’d be better at the trip. There’s lots of things in his favour that could work out well for a Sydney Cup.”

– Racing NSW

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