Cup dress rehearsal from Saint

Saint Emilion (Matt Cameron) again showed his talent at Otaki today. (Photo: Race Images).

Saint Emilion (Matt Cameron) again showed his talent at Otaki today.

Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman will be forced to seriously consider a tilt at the Gr. 3 $100,000 Skycity Hamilton Waikato Cup at Te Rapa next month after Saint Emilion’s bold front-running win over 2300 metres at Otaki today.

The four-year-old son of Mastercraftsman made it four wins from his last five starts when rider Matt Cameron took him straight to the front in the Levin Container Rubbish Premier.

Saint Emilion was always travelling like the winner and when he had a handy break early in the run home it was obvious he wasn’t going to be caught.

The manner in which he beat Red King by three and a quarter-lengths in his first staying test proved he would be a serious lightweight prospect in some of the Cups races. He holds nominations for the City Of Auckland and Auckland Cups, but beforehand he deserves a shot at the 2400-metre Waikato Cup.

Forsman was on track for today’s win and in a pre-race interview he put the pressure on Saint Emilion, saying he had to “prove his credentials at the trip.”

Saint Emilion left no doubts about his staying ability and he also had no problem backing up quickly, having won a week earlier over 1800 metres at New Plymouth.

Baker and Forsman have gradually stepped Saint Emilion up in distance, beginning this latest campaign with a win over 1200 metres at Waverley.

Saint Emilion was runner-up over 1400 second-up at Te Rapa then failed at Hastings over 1600 when hanging badly. He quickly bounced back, winning his next two starts over 1600 then preceding his New Plymouth 1800-metre win with a third over 1600 at Tauranga.

“He’s obviously a very good stayer,” said Forsman. “He’s been in work for a little while but he’s thriving, he’s really in the zone.