Hobartville Stakes Dual Test For Emerging Ceolwulf

The Hobartville Stakes will be a pivotal race for promising three-year-old Ceolwulf as trainer Joseph Pride searches for clarity on two fronts.

Not only is Pride keen to narrow down the horse’s ideal distance range, he is also wanting to see a performance that warrants keeping Ceolwulf a colt.

“He is going to need to deliver to stay a colt,” Pride said.

“There is no use leaving them a bull if they can’t be competitive in Group races, which he has been so far.

“He’s a very promising horse, but there will be a decision this prep.”

Ceolwulf is a son of the late Tavistock , a dual Group 1 winner over 1400m whose best progeny have largely been stayers and middle-distance types, among them top Hong Kong galloper Werther and Victoria Derby winners Tarzino and Johnny Get Angry.

However, Ceolwulf made an almost immediate impact over shorter journeys at his initial campaign, highlighted by a Group 3 placing at just his third start in the Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) when he split Encap and Tom Kitten.

Pride is keeping an open mind on whether the three-year-old is geared towards mile targets or set on an Australian Derby path and says Ceolwulf’s Hobartville Stakes (1400m) performance will be a key indicator.

Either way, Pride is confident the horse only needs to continue on his current trajectory to be a force this autumn.

“I’ll have a pretty good idea after Saturday whether we’ll end up being in the Derby, or if we can get serious about the (Randwick) Guineas in a few weeks’ time,” Pride said.

“It’s a very important run.

“But you saw him measure up, he beat Tom Kitten home running second to Encap in the Ming Dynasty, he just needs to improve on that performance a bit and he’s going to be there with the best of his generation.”

Ceolwulf resumes at Rosehill but will carry residual fitness from an unlucky appearance against the older horses in the summer where he finished sixth after being cluttered up for a vital part of the straight.

Sam Clipperton has ridden Ceolwulf in three of his four starts and reunites with him in the Hobartville, which has attracted a final field of 13 headed by Spring Champion Stakes winner Tom Kitten, first-up Eskimo Prince placegetter Encap and the Tulloch Lodge pair of Ganbare and Raf Attack.

– RAS NewsWire

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