Smart Kiwi stayer Defibrillate was back in winning form when successful in the Listed Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday for trainer Patrick Payne.
The son of Shocking, who sports the colours of his original trainer Graham Richardson, lumped topweight of 60kgs to score an impressive win in the hands of Billy Egan.
It was the second year in a row the seven-year-old gelding had won the Mornington Cup Prelude and his fourth win from six starts at Caulfield, advancing his overall record to 10 wins from 23 starts and A$680,000 in prizemoney.
Defibrillate travelled beautifully throughout back near the rear of the field under a patient Egan ride and after angling into the clear on the corner packed too many punches for the well-supported favourite Desert Icon to score by 1¼ lengths, with Criminal Code back in third.
“The race just unfolded perfectly for me and I just had to be patient and keep him balanced and just get him through there smoothly,” Egan said.
“He’s probably going quite similarly to last year, he just went down a different path over the spring trying to get him out over a few Cup distances, 2400 (metres), but we probably found out he’s a nice 2000-metre horse and we just had to get him back to his natural best distance.”
With that in mind, a potential target for Defibrillate could be another tilt at the Gr.1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington next month, a race in which he finished sixth last year, beaten just 1.7 lengths.
Defibrillate was sent to the Plumpton stable of Patrick Payne in 2019 after winning two of his three starts for Richardson in New Zealand.
Richardson is part of a large syndicate of owners, including close friends Lance O’Sullivan and Brendon McCullum.
The Matamata trainer bred Defibrillate, a son of Rich Hill Stud stallion Shocking and Groom Dancer mare Our Chickaroonie with Graeme and Linda McInteer. He is a half-brother to the stakes winning Bertolini mare Italian Princess, whom Richardson also trained.
There are ten yearlings by Shocking in the forthcoming New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales, which commence at Karaka on March 7.