Hyeronimus Has Spring In His Step About Stonecoat

There’s a real confidence in jockey Adam Hyeronimus when he talks about promising three-year-old Stonecoat that suggests he’s not just a winter prospect.

Jockey Adam Hyeronimus (Pic: Bradley Photos).

While the gelding shows all the grit and determination that we often see from a Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott charge, Stonecoat showed Hyeronimus a little more than that in his game first-up win.

So the comeback jockey is excited to see what’s in store in the Racing For Good On July 29 Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

“He did a bit of work early to hold the lead but he accelerated at the top of the straight, which was impressive, and has a good will to win,’’ he said.

“Not very often Gai and Adrian’s horses show a turn of foot, the way he was ridden, like he did. If he can sprint like he did over a mile I can’t see him getting beaten.”

That first-up win was over 1400m at Randwick three weeks ago and, after breaking clear early in the straight, he was surely headed by Excelladus close to the line but refused to lay down.

While Stonecoat, $4.40 with TAB on Thursday, goes up 3kg the form has held up with the third placed Battleton winning last weekend and Hyeronimus said he has the right attributes to back it up given he’s already a Listed winner at 1600m.

“He’s very relaxed, goes about his job nice and quietly and knows what he has to do,’’ he said.

“He’s a perfect horse, really.”

Hyeronimus took particular notice of Omni Man’s victory over Passeggiata when they met on the Kensington track `recently and will look to replicate it in the Furphy Handicap (1000m).

There’s a 3.5kg swing against him and 3kg of that is due to the use of Amy McLucas’s claim in that last start win but Hyeronimus said the bigger factor is how Omni Man settles.

“He looked a lot more relaxed, he was quite fired up when I rode him (two starts ago),’’ he said.

“Amy rode the horse really well the other day, the favourite goes quick and walks late and she had the pressure on the whole way. That won the race.

“(Passeggiata) is obviously going to go quick and it’s a matter of him being relaxed. He’s had a few runs now and I’d be more than happy to put the pressure on that horse.”

The Little Pumper has had a trial since his first-up win and that was a chance for Hyeronimus to get a feel for the youngster ahead of the Inglis Race Series Closing Handicap (1400m).

The gelding scored an easy all the way win at Canterbury almost a month ago and if he gets the first part of the race right Hyeronimus is confident he’ll take catching again.

“If he can break well and find a nice rhythm he’s ging to be terribly hard to beat,’’ he said.

“He’s always shown ability, he‘s been a nice horse the whole way through.

“He seems a lot more willing to go about his job properly this time in which makes things easier for whoever is riding him.”

Since his return to the saddle in May, the 33-year-old has notched 12 winners and says been overwhelmed by the support he’s received from owners and trainers.

“I thought it was a good time to come back but at the same time I wasn’t expecting the support,’’ he said.

“I’ve been working hard to build relationships and it’s good to be able to be rewarded for that.”

– Racing NSW

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