Race experience proved advantageous as Little Brose, a son of Per Incanto, continued Lindsay Park’s impressive record in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) for two-year-olds to open Zipping Classic Day at Caulfield.
Trainer David Hayes, currently based in Hong Kong, won the race on five occasions between 2005 and 2017, and sons Ben and JD continued the family’s success with colt Little Brose, who settled just rear of midfield with cover but unleashed a dashing turn-of-foot under the guidance of in-form hoop Michael Dee.
Heavily backed $2.05 Godolphin favourite Cylinder (Blake Shinn) was kept in a pocket by Dee in what was ultimately a race-winning move as Little Brose ($10) went on to score comfortably by 1.25 lengths, with Cylinder and Gangitano ($9.50, 1.45L) rounding out the placings, with last-start Cranbourne winner Remedies ($4.20, 1.65L) finishing fourth.
JD Hayes said the team would likely resist the temptation of sending Little Brose to contest the lucrative Magic Millions series on the Gold Coast in January, instead hinting at a tilt at the Gr.1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) in the Autumn.
Little Brose was runner-up in the Gr.3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) on Melbourne Cup Day.
“He really trained on nicely, out of that good run (at Flemington) where the leader came from last and we did a few things wrong,” JD Hayes said.
“He paraded a lot better today and it was an exceptional performance. We’ll probably have to resist the temptation of taking him to Queensland because we do think he’d really hold his own in a race like the Blue Diamond.”
Taking the mount from Damien Oliver, who opted to ride in Perth, Dee said Little Brose gave a mature feel in his second career start.
“Ben and JD said before the race he’s come here in a much better way. He was calm in the mounting yard, which was a good indication that he’d taken the right direction from his first run at Flemington, and it was pretty soft on the line,” Dee said.
A two-year-old son of Per Incanto, Little Brose was a $200,000 purchase from the Gold Coast Yearling Sale in January this year.
Bred by David Wallace, Little Brose is out of the American stakes-winning mare Mohegan Sky and is the fourth winner from six foals.
Little Brose is the 26th stakes-winner for Little Avondale Stud’s outstanding stallion Per Incanto, who is represented by 30 yearlings at next year’s New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale.