Souchez could make the trip to Perth for the 2016 Western Australian Guineas after he returned to winning form with a strong effort in the Hilton Stakes at Flemington this afternoon.
Souchez did not have a great deal of luck when he returned to the races with a fifth place finish in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 15 and he improved second-up to record an impressive victory.
James McDonald elected to restrain Souchez in the early stages of the race and it proved to be a winning move as the Lonhro colt showed a strong turn-of-foot to finish over the top of his rivals in the Hilton Stakes.
“I took him back from the gate because I thought that from barrier 19 it would have been a tough ask to roll forward,” McDonald said.
“He travelled up beautifully and put his head down really well.
“It looked as though he was going to be a bit unlucky, but the gaps presented themselves and he burst through.
“It was a bit messy early on, but we navigated a path through and he did the rest.”
There were big things expected and he finished a credible fourth in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 11, but he was badly ill after the race and almost lost his life.
Trainer John O’Shea said that it had been a big effort from the Godolphin team to get Souchez back to the races in such strong condition and he said that the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) is an option for the three-year-old, while the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) during the 2017 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival could be the long-term option.
“A lot of credit must go to the team and the way that they prepared the horse,” O’Shea said.
“We nearly lost him in Brisbane in the winter and it is a great effort to get him back.
“We have him in at Perth for the Guineas.
“Whether we go or not will depend on how he pulls up.
“I think that he will be a backend autumn horse in Sydney and then he might find his way into the Stradbroke.”
Inside Agent flashed home late to finished a strong third, while Man From Uncle stamped himself as a horse with ability with a third place finish in just his third race start.