Group race targets for Ceolwulf

The Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality is the next stop for Ceolwulf after the three-year-old defied his inexperience to score a game win at Warwick Farm.

Having just his second start, Ceolwulf ($4.80) ranged up to the leaders and looked set to sail past them before hanging under pressure then lifting again for Sam Clipperton to deny the fast-finishing Mojave Desert ($3.70 fav) by a half-length.

Trainer Joe Pride is a big fan of the colt and expects him to continue his march through the grades.

“He’s got a long way to go in terms of his development and what he’s got to learn, but he’s certainly kicked off his career well,” Pride said.

“It’s not very often you see horses by this stallion in Tavistock show up either at this age or over a short trip. He’s really exciting, I really like him.

“He was a Ready To Run horse from Karaka and he breezed up quite well. I was happy to take the punt on him and he has always shown a fair bit, which has encouraged us to keep pushing on at this early stage.”

Pride nominated the Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday week as the likely next step for Ceolwulf, provided he came through Wednesday’s performance in good order.

“I had in mind if he won today that we’d go to the Ming Dynasty,” he said.

“It’s leaving him at 1400 (metres) and it’s only a week-and-a-half away, but he’s got to pull up well to do that.”

Chris Waller produced another nice three-year-old winner a race later when Fightertown broke his maiden in the Schweppes Handicap (1200m).

It was the son of Snitzel’s first start as a gelding after he failed to live up to the potential he’d shown at home in four runs as a juvenile.

Given Coolmore are in the business of making stallions, Fightertown is likely to have just one more run for Waller and his current owners before going under the hammer.

“He’s always shown us a lot of promise, enough to put him in some pretty good races as a two-year-old,” Waller said.

“But we weren’t quite getting the best out of him so now that he’s been gelded, he’s probably not going to do the right job for (owners) Coolmore, but he’ll put some value on himself pretty quickly.

“He’s a smart horse.”

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