Trainer John Sadler is ready to deliver a knockout blow with possibly the best colt he has ever prepared. Although only a debut winner, and lacking experience, Sadler well-known for his patience, admits the lure of a big prize money cheque has him eyeing off the inaugural running of The Showdown at Caulfield.

Sadler has the debut Terang winner Sartorial Splendor aimed at the 1200 metre two-year-old race which is exclusive to the progeny of VOBIS nominated stallions. Carrying a lucrative first prize of $522,500, the trainer has been swayed and has brought forward the speed of the colt’s preparation.

“Saturday is the only reason we’ve pushed him,” Sadler said. “It’s a million-dollar race, otherwise he wouldn’t have run yet. We have hurried him along a bit.”

Sadler said Sartorial Splendor did a few things wrong at Terang when successful on April 14 as odds-on favourite, but his raw talent got him through.

“Ability-wise, I doubt that I’ve had anything as good – which is a big call – but whether he’s as good a racehorse or not, we’ll all find out together,” Sadler said on Tuesday.

“Two of his gallops that he’s put in on the course proper at Caulfield, I haven’t had horses do that ever before, but whether he can transfer that onto the racetrack, we’ll see.”

“If he can produce (in trackwork) what I’ve seen, he’ll be very, very hard to beat in this race.”

“He’s a really exciting horse. I don’t know mentally if he’s ready for it. He certainly is physically, and he’s much fitter than he was at Terang. It’ll be a really interesting day to see how he copes. A good barrier draw would help as it looks like it will be a full field with a few smart horses in it.

“He’s certainly going to benefit greatly from this preparation and he’s a horse going forward that you would think that would be certainly a better three-year-old.”

A $130,000 yearling from the 2018 Inglis Premier Sale, Sartorial Splendor is a half-brother, by Brazen Beau, to Fontiton, who was the favourite in the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield for former trainer Robert Smerdon, after winning both the Preview and Prelude.

“He was one of Brazen Beau’s first year, so there was a question mark on him, but he’s a really nice and a very good horse,” Sadler said. “He’s one of the best gallopers I’ve had, but whether he’s the best racehorse we’ll have to find out.”

Saturday’s inaugural race has attracted 32 nominations with 18 Victorian sires represented. Swettenham Stud’s Toronado (Ire) having five of his first crop two-year-old’s nominated.

They include leading chance Prince of Sussex, after winning impressively on debut for trainer Matt Laurie in the VOBIS Gold Rush on Bendigo’s Golden Mile Race Day last month.

In the race for the $50,000 Showdown VOBIS Sires nominator’s bonus is Sun Stud who are leading with seven nominations who represent 22% of runners in the field with their stallions Fighting Sun, Fiorente, Moshe, Squamosa, and Magnus. 

Rosemont Stud has five nominations, Swettenham and Darley on five, with two from Brazen Beau. Woodside has four and include the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Hightail, who ran third in January’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast.

Chatswood with Reward For Effort has two challengers, Three Bridges with two, both by Unencumbered and one each to Lauriston Park, and Spendthrift Australia.

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