Guineas runner-up Savile Row out to go one better at Trentham Thu, 12 Jan 2017
Jonathan Scully already knew Kevin Hickman had a smart horse on his hands in Savile Row, and comments from co-trainer Michael Moroney this week comparing the colt to former stable star Xcellent have just confirmed it.
Scully, racing manager for Valachi Downs proprietor and Savile Row's breeder-owner Kevin Hickman, is brimming with confidence ahead of the colt’s tilt at Saturday's Gr. 1 Randwick Meats Levin Classic at Trentham.
"It's amazing that Mike would even contemplate comparing him with Xcellent, because everyone knows how highly he rated him," Scully said. "It just confirms to us that we've got a pretty special horse on our hands.
"It's great to have a home-bred colt racing in Group One races in Kevin's colours. Hopefully after Saturday, we might have a potential stallion on our hands. We don't normally keep our colts, but there weren't enough people wanting to buy him at the sales so we brought him home."
Runner-up to Ugo Foscolo in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas, Scully believes Savile Row's edge came from his strength and maturity for his age.
"You'd think he's a four-year-old, but he's only three and that for starters always holds you in pretty good stead," Scully said.
"At Ellerslie the other day it was like he was toying with them - and that was a pretty good field of older Rating 85 gallopers.
"We've just got to try and not get too excited until he gets his Group One, but that's not easy. His win at Ellerslie took Kevin and me by surprise. We thought it would be just a nice pipe-cleaner, but the way he won gave us goosebumps."
TAB bookmakers have the Michael Moroney and Pam Gerrard-trained Savile Row on the second line of betting for the Levin Classic at $4.80 behind the $2.90 favourite Hall Of Fame, which surprises Scully.
"He's at great odds," he said. "We've got the draw (barrier two) and Hall Of Fame is inside us too. Pam wants him ridden a little handier than he was in the 2000 Guineas."
Savile Row is the TAB's $10 equal second favourite for the Gr. 1 Vodafone New Zealand Debry at Ellerslie on March 4 with Highlad, in a market headed by Sacred Elixir at $5.
He is at $16 for the weight-for-age Gr. 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa on February 11.