Tulloch Lodge has continued its incredible strike-rate with two-year-olds, this time plundering the $2 million Inglis Millennium with unassuming colt Fully Lit.
The stable has produced 12 individual juvenile winners this season and co-trainer Adrian Bott says Fully Lit will be considered for a start in the Blue Diamond Stakes in Melbourne after overcoming a wide run to race away with Saturday's 1100-metre showpiece.
"He's certainly going in the right direction, that's for sure," Bott said. "Obviously it was a restricted race today so we'll look at the options, whether we are tempted by a Blue Diamond.
"We kept him in calculations there, [or] he may stay here in one of the [Golden] Slipper lead-ups … to give him that opportunity to see how he does stack up against the grade, because every time we've raised the bar he's responded in a big way."
Fully Lit (red cap) makes his winning move in the Inglis Millennium; picture sportpix.com.au
After showing speed to win on debut at Rosehill last month, Fully Lit ($2.80 fav) didn't jump as cleanly in the Inglis Millennium, although jockey Regan Bayliss didn't panic and was content to track wide.
The youngster let down strongly in the straight and found plenty under pressure to defeat Rue De Royale ($6.50) by three-quarters of a length, with Rag Queen ($31) storming late to grab third, another half-head away.
"He won so well on debut it was hard to ignore this race," Bott said. "I'm so proud of the horse, the way he won today. Obviously from a wide draw, he was a little bit on the back foot out of the gates but he settled well, covered a bit of ground, and it was great to see how strong he was through the line."
Bayliss said he has supreme confidence in Fully Lit and wasn't afraid to camp wide given the way the track had been playing earlier in the day.
"I was quite happy giving him a bang out, and I was so confident in the horse, I was happy to sit three-deep and just get him into a rhythm," Bayliss said. "There's no ceiling on this horse. I just think that he's going to keep improving and, as I said, it was a gutsy win."
Chasing his third consecutive Inglis Millennium, Chad Schofield fell just short on Rue De Royale (NZ), who could also be Blue Diamond-bound. "He chased hard and will improve from the run fitness-wise," Schofield said.
Jockey Jason Collett was taken with the performance of Rag Queen, who at $15,000 was the cheapest runner in the race. "She has a lot of growing up to do but she was really strong late. She'll be worth the wait with the engine she's got," Collett said.