Pompeii ready to rule again after trial win
2007 Australian Cup winner Pompeii Ruler has next month’s Group One George Ryder Stakes in his sights after an impressive trial win at Cranbourne.
The injury prone six-year-old showed he had recovered from an inflamed pastern that prematurely ended his Cox Plate plans last spring, recording 1:10.89 for 1190 metres on Tuesday.
Three-year-old Mightyblitz, who was recently placed at Sandown, made it a good test for Pompeii Ruler and finished a length behind him in second place.
Trainer Mick Price was delighted with the trial and said he was happy for Pompeii Ruler to resume in the Ryder (1500m) at Rosehill on April 4.
“He went like a good stayer should go,” Price said.
“He has never been a 1200-metre horse but he went great.
“He is very sound and clean in his action.”
Price said that after the Ryder, Pompeii Ruler would target the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Anzac Day then head to Queensland for the Hollindale Cup and the Doomben Cup.
Pompeii Ruler has won seven of his 19 starts, with his best success the Australian Cup. He also finished third in a photo-finish to Fields Of Omagh and El Segundo in the 2006 Cox Plate.
A suspensory ligament injury in the 2007 spring sidelined him for 12 months but he came back last campaign to finish finish second to Weekend Hussler in the Underwood Stakes and second to Douro Valley in the Yalumba Stakes.
Among his other three runs was a third in the Memsie Stakes and fourth in the Turnbull Stakes before injury again stopped him.
Pompeii Ruler’s trial performance on Tuesday was only surpassed by stablemate Bel Mer who went like a supersonic jet in winning her 800-metre trial by four lengths in a scorching 44.29s.
Her time was more than a second faster than other 13 trials over the distance but Price wasn’t surprised.
“She can do that,” Price said. “She always trials brilliantly at home (Caulfield).”
Price said Bel Mer, who has won three of her 15 starts, would get her chance to win a Group One race when she resumes in the Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide on March 21.
“She was not good enough for the Oakleigh Plate or the Newmarket Handicap but back to fillies and mares she will be nice and ready first-up in the Sangster,” Price said.
Bel Mer came closest to winning a Group One race when she finished second to Weekend Hussler in the 2007 Ascot Vale Stakes.
Among other Cranbourne trial winners was stakeswinning filly Ortensia who hasn’t raced since an infected tendon sheath stopped her in the spring.
The Testa Rossa filly has won three of her five starts including the Group Three Thousand Guineas Prelude and was second to Dan Baroness in the Group Three Champagne Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Trained by Tony Noonan, Ortensia won her 800-metre trial by three lengths in 46s.
By Robert Windmill