A shot at the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) in November looms as a surprising target for Valour Road if he runs up to expectations at Belmont on the weekend.
The Frost Giant gelding has enjoyed elite success in sprinting races, but has not raced beyond 1400m in a 24-start career for trainer Simon Miller.
Miller is confident Valour Road can handle a distance test in Saturday’s Group 3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) and add another string to his bow.
Consolidating his view was Valour Road’s last start second in the Belmont Sprint (1400m) when he finished strongly behind The Velvet King.
“He was really good the other day and probably adds another dimension to his repertoire,” Miller said on Tabradio. “If he can run out the mile, then suddenly he’s a Railway horse for next prep.
“Can he get the mile, I don’t know. All you can do is base it on his last run and he was strong through the line.
“As long as he can relax there is no reason why he can’t. I think the no blinkers enables him to get it as well.”
A $60,000 Magic Millions Perth yearling, Valour Road’s seven career wins include the Karrakatta Plate (1200m) and The Euclase (1200m) in Adelaide, both at Group 2.
The five-year-old will jump from barrier four in the Hyperion Stakes. Brad Rawiller retains the ride.
Valour Road and stable mate Dance Music give Miller a potent two-pronged attack in the Hyperion Stakes. The latter has been a model of consistency and is proven at the trip with wins in the La Trice (1800m) and Starstruck Classic (1600m) last campaign.
The War Chant mare finished third in the Belmont Sprint. Miller said it was a brave effort.
“[She did] A little bit of [extra] work and got on the wrong part of the track as the day unfolded,” Miller said.
“She was brave again, and one thing you know about her is she does get the mile.
“She is just a marvel. You just point and shoot. Line her up, pick your races out, and she rolls up and gets the job done.”
Dance Music has drawn barrier six for Brad Parnham. The TAB has her at $7, with Valour Road at $9.
The Velvet King is the $2.90 favourite and hardest to beat according to Miller.
“When he’s on song he’s a really good horse,” Miller said. “He was on song the other day and the one to beat.”
Meanwhile, Miller says everything is in favour of Panzdown to continue his winning spree in the Byron Bay Premium Lager Handicap (1000m).