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Martin's tall order with Pampelonne
21st May 2012
Daily Telegraph - Ray Thomas - Sunday, 20 May 2012
PAMPELONNE had just thrashed his rivals in Saturday's $500,000 Inglis Guineas when trainer Tim Martin admitted he now had a problem - how to qualify his boom young sprinter for the Stradbroke Handicap.
"I don't know how we are going to get there (Stradbroke) but we have to get there," Martin said.
"Pampelonne is a Group 1 horse in my opinion and he showed that today.
"Now we have to work out how we can get him into the Stradbroke."
Pampelonne has only 50.5kg in the Group 1 $1 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9 and was 43rd in order of entry going into yesterday's race. His Scone win doesn't improve his position in the Stradbroke order.
In the most dominant performance of the two-day Scone carnival, Pampelonne produced an outstanding display to lead throughout and win the Inglis Guineas (1400m) effortlessly.
Pampelonne ($2.30 favourite), ridden by Sydney's leading jockey Hugh Bowman, jumped straight to the front, relaxed well mid-race then dashed clear halfway down the straight before winning easing down by 3 1/2 lengths from Flying Fuji ($61) with Colorado Claire ($2.60) a further 1 3/4 lengths away third.
Martin then suggested that there is every chance Pampelonne could back up in Saturday's Group 1 $650,000 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) in a bid to qualify for the Stradbroke Handicap.
"If he comes through this race well, then I will look at the 10,000 next Saturday," Martin said.
"We've always knew this horse had ability but he needed time to mature and develop.
"I've spaced his runs this preparation because I've had a bit of success with the Rock Of Gibraltar breed with Murtajill and Rock Song and I think it suits them to have their races spaced.
"But Pampelonne is a big, strong horse who we have set for the Stradbroke and if we have to back up with him next week, it won't be an issue."
Sincero won the Gosford Guineas-Inglis Guineas-Stradbroke Handicap treble last year and Pampelonne is on track to emulate that feature after completing the Guineas double.
Pampelonne has now won four of his six starts and Martin believes the gelding should just about be unbeaten.
"The day he ran second to Mental at Rosehill last spring, I've no doubt he should have won," Martin said.
"He nearly came down at the start.
"I'd be happy to take on Mental again."
Mental confirmed Stradbroke Handicap favouritism with an impressive win in the Fred Best Classic at Doomben yesterday.
Pampelonne is raced by Alan Bell, who has also owned top-class gallopers Schillaci and Grand Armee.
"If the horse comes through this race well, licks the feed bin, all those things, and Tim is keen to run next week at Doomben, then I'd be happy to go that way," Bell said.
"I'd prefer to do the quick back-up into next week rather than go to the QTC Cup and then back up a week later in the Stradbroke.
"The QTC Cup is a real mock race for the Stradbroke. We won the (1992) QTC Cup with Schillaci but then he ran unplaced in the Stradbroke."