TAB Sportsbet kept all of the pre-post money invested on Instalment (Elvstroem) when the three-year-old fell to another son of Elvstroem in Saturday’s $70,000 Bob Skilton Handicap (1100m) at Flemington.
Instalment firmed from $7.50 into $3.10 in the first 48 hours’ betting on the Bob Skilton Handicap but the Mark Kavanagh-trained colt did little when put under pressure passing the 400 metres.
Shanghai Warrior settled midfield before storming down the centre of the track with an impressive turn of foot to score comfortably. The colt’s trainer Pat Hyland said Shanghai Warrior improved rapidly after his first-up third on July 7.
“He’s a pretty promising horse. He had that race won when Bossy let him stride about 300 from home,” Hyland said. “There was no way they were going to beat him then.
“He looked a lot better today in himself. He was probably a bit further underdone than I expected last time.
“The draw was a bit better today and he got a sit behind them. It all worked out well.”
Shanghai Warrior defeated Balzeus (God’s Own) by 1-1/4 lengths while Baron Douro (Bachelor Duke) finished another half-length away in third. The three-year-olds ran the 1100 metres in 1:04.41 with the last 600 metres run in 34.25 seconds on a dead (4) surface. Shanghai Warrior started at $6.50 on track but paid $5.20 on the Victorian TAB.
Hyland said he expected Shanghai Warrior to improve with more ground and allowed himself to dream of a Cox Plate start for the rising four-year-old.
“How far he will run will probably be the testing ground now,” Hyland said. “He can run a mile but if he can run a mile and a quarter, there’s a good race there down the track. You never know.
“It will be the end of a program anyway.”
Saturday’s success was Shanghai Warrior’s fourth from eight starts with the $42,700 winner’s cheque taking his stakes tally past the $100,000 mark. Hyland paid $105,000 for Shanghai Warrior on behalf of his owners – N Hildebrand, R Mccann, G Harris, I Foster, T Foster, J Hardwick, M Yu, R Smith, A Zoanetti and Mrs M Hyland – at the 2010 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale.