Four-year-old gelding Hennessy Lad continues to prove a model of consistency, claiming his fourth career victory from nine starts when successful in the Spring Dining On Sale Handicap (1600m) at The Valley on Saturday.
Prepared by Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman, Hennessy Lad was sent out the $3.10 favourite on the back of two strong runs at Flemington, including a last start runner-up finish.
Given a perfect ride by Luke Nolen, the son of Belardo travelled just behind the speed and produced a good turn of foot when presented at the top of the straight to score by half a length from Legend Of Dubai.
Raced by a syndicate headed by Wylie Dalziel, Hennessy Lad has now won A$253,900 in prizemoney.
“He’s such an honest horse,” Dalziel said. “We bought him out of New Zealand, myself and Moods, and he’s never finished further back than fourth.
“You know he’s just going to give a tough, honest effort and he did that today, so our thanks to Mr Moody and Katherine and all the team.”
Despite having competed well at Group Two level when fourth in the Autumn Classic (1800m) won by Pericles, Dalziel was keen to just take small steps.
“He could get out over more ground. We tested him a bit last preparation. We are all for taking them through the grades and we won’t rush him up to any Group races I don’t think.
“Moods will take him through the grades – he felt like he might be another Pounding, where he might just progressively work his way through the grades, and maybe get to the top company one day.
“He is certainly honest and it was a great ride.”
Nolen concurred with Dalziel’s assessment and said the horse was a tough performer.
“I thought he was good and sound, he’s a horse that probably likes to build and we got an opportunity to do that,” Nolen said.
“He quickens well enough to get himself well and truly into a race, but then he holds that gallop. We had an opportunity to build to our top before straightening and he held that gallop to the line.
“Around this grade, he’s going to keep winning races when placed to advantage.”
Hennessy Lad was bred and sold by Trelawney Stud, knocked down for $80,000 at the 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales to Dalziel and Peter Moody in conjunction with Bloodstock Agent John White.
By former Haunui Farm shuttle stallion Belardo, Hennessy Lad is a half-brother to stakes placed mare Campari, with the pair out of the Zabeel mare Lillet, a daughter of Group One winner Pernot.