You cannot blame connections of Saturday’s impressive Golden Mile winner Ironclad for daring to dream big in the spring.
The former Juddmonte-owned galloper now trained by Will Clarken, extended his unbeaten streak in Australia to four wins in the Bendigo feature, which saw Australian Bloodstock draw comparisons with their latest exciting recruit to recent All-Star Mile winner Mugatoo on Twitter overnight.
— Australian Bloodstock (@Austbloodstock) March 27, 2021
Mugatoo won his first three starts in Australia before finishing second in last year’s Manion Cup, which was conducted yesterday, and Jamie Lovett thinks there is plenty left to come from Ironclad yet.
“It was a little bit of tongue in cheek, but he has come through the handicaps exactly like Mugatoo did when he arrived,” Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett said on Sunday.
“There is no ceiling with him yet so why not dare to dream he could be a Cox Plate horse.
“The plan at this stage is probably to give him a break and set him towards some targets in the spring maybe like a Toorak.
“With his rating set to go up we are going to have to start aiming a little bit higher.”
Lovett said the biggest ace up Ironclad’s sleeve was when he extended out in trip, having only competed once below 2000 metres in Europe in his eight starts with Hugo Palmer.
“Look on his UK form you would say Will (Clarken) has done a terrific job to sharpen him up,” Lovett said of his Australian victories from 1200-1600 metres.
“I believe he is a 2000 metre horse and maybe even further, whose saying he couldn’t be a Caulfield Cup horse if that’s the case.
“He is by Dubawi and if were right there is a fair bit to come with him.”
Ridden by Jamie Kah, Ironclad was sent off close to an odds-on favourite and backers had little cause for concern, ridden close to the speed and peeling at the top of the straight for a comfortable 1.8 length victory.
“He was pretty impressive wasn’t he,” Lovett said of the geldings second stakes win.
“I briefly spoke to Will after the race, but he had a nice economical run and seems to have come out of it well.
“He can’t have done anymore at this point and that trip away should toughen him up as well.”
Ironclad arrived in Australia in October last year after beating just five runners home in his last three starts in the UK.
“I liked his early runs and he had lost his way and they gelded him, but he vetted out with some improvement,” Lovett said about acquiring the horse.
“He was a little bit of a risk as his form had tapered off, but we didn’t pay a lot for him either.”
Having drawn comparisons to the syndicators flagbearer, all appears on track for the Kirs Lees-trained Mugatoo for the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 10.
“He is all set and on track for the Doncaster,” Lovett said of the All-Star Mile winner.
“He has never been better.”
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