Progressive three-year-old Golden Path ran out a dominant winner of the Silver Bowl Series Final (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday as the Kiwi import made it two wins from three starts.
The gelded son of Belardo was an impressive debut winner at Pakenham in late May for trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr before finishing runner-up behind Hard To Cross when not handling the dip at Sandown last-start.
Allowed to stride forward from a middle draw (7), jockey Beau Mertens elected to take up the running and Golden Path extended when asked in the straight to score by just over three lengths from Loung Bar Rubi, with Hellfire third.
“He is a hard horse to get a guide on,” Kent Jnr said.
“He is a big, rakey individual with a head only a mother could love, and he is a bit touchy in the feed bin. We just ticked him over and he is obviously very talented. His best is a long way away and he has got a lot of furnishing to do.
“Having tactical speed is a great asset to have. He travelled along at a genuine tempo and put them away very quickly. It was quite impressive.”
Kent Jnr indicated Golden Path would likely push on to another mile three-year-old race later this month, should he come through the run satisfactorily.
“While he is still three, we will capatalise on some good prize-money on offer in Victoria. I’d say that would be the option but we will work it out on Monday morning,” he said.
“It is a very good effort for a young horse to go there and do that at his third start. He didn’t just win, he won by three lengths going away and he has got scope to get a bit further as well, so he is quite exciting.”
Beau Mertens has ridden Golden Path at all three of his starts and was pleased with the improvement the gelding showed again on Saturday.
“He won quite well at Pakenham in what wasn’t an overly strong race and then he stepped out at Sandown and put in a huge run,” Mertens said.
“He was quite unbalanced getting down the dip at Sandown and he was beaten a bob of the head. Today he stepped out and he is very versatile. I got him to the lead and he was comfortable and he really ran through the line strongly.
“He is definitely suited to a bigger track. He is a horse on the up and I think he has got a lot of ability.”
Bred by the Wallace family’s Ardsley Stud, Golden Path was purchased for $35,000 from the 2021 Karaka Book 2 Yearling Sale by Pukekohe trainer Michael Rogers.
After winning two of his three trials in New Zealand for Rogers, Golden Path was sold to clients of the Price-Kent team and races in the colours of prominent owner Carl Holt.
By Belardo, who previously shuttled to Haunui Farm, Golden Path is out of the winning Dubai Destination mare Golden Destination.