Godolphin weigh up G1 options for Paulele

Earning a spot on the Darley stallion roster will be the goal for Paulele this autumn and to achieve that he needs to win a Group 1 race.

He took the first step on that journey with an all-the-way win over a talented field of three-year-olds in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday, giving trainer James Cummings plenty of food for thought.

“There’s no doubt the horse is going very well and it is a matter for us now just to pick our target and do our best to get him to win a race good enough to stand him on the (Darley) roster,” Cummings said.

“He is a really exciting colt. He’s got a great record and he has now come back in his autumn three-year-old preparation winning first-up.”

Kerrin Mcevoy got Paulele ($3.10 fav) into a comfortable rhythm in the lead and the colt kicked strongly when challenged by the eventual placegetters, denying Ranch Hand ($4.60) by a half-length with Converge ($5) close-up in third.

Godolphin is yet to decide where Paulele heads next but Cummings has nominated the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes day and the Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick next month as possibilities.

“Hopefully we can find the right target for him either next start or maybe two runs away,” Cummings said.

“If we have to drop him back and run him over five-and-a-half furlongs (1100 metres) in the Oakleigh Plate, then he’d be on the minimum there and I think he’d run a big race.

“If we wanted to keep him here then we’d have to wait a while for the Galaxy, so maybe we’d think about running him in the Canterbury Stakes.”

McEvoy believed Paulele could fulfil his promise this preparation and said while he was briefly worried when he heard Converge making ground to his inside, the winner was strong to the line.

“He did it nicely for me early and that enabled him to kick strongly,” McEvoy said.

“I could hear Timmy (Clark on Converge) coming on the inside. I was slightly worried past the furlong but my fella maintained a good gallop all the way through the line. He’s in for a lovely prep.”

James Mcdonald on Ranch Hand was rapt with his run, labelling it a “super return”, while Converge’s co-trainer Adrian Bott said the Group 1 winner was back on track after illness curtailed his spring.

“It showed that he is coming up nicely. He’s been working and trialling really well and it was pleasing to see him produce such a good run,” Bott said.


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