There is nothing like a winner over the Melbourne Spring Carnival and trainer Paul Perry was delighted when his classy three-year-old Hidden Warrior recorded a gutsy victory in the Group III MVRC Red Anchor Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Doing early work from the outside gate, the attractive chestnut son of in-form stallion Hidden Dragon did a fair bit wrong - still green - but when challenged in the straight he found plenty to win by half a length.
Having only his sixth start and his third this preparation, Hidden Warrior(pictured Racepix Vic) has always been highly regarded - at his first start at two only just beaten by Pierro in the Listed Breeders Plate at Randwick.
Given plenty of time after his two-year-old preparation, Hidden Warrior is a horse, says Perry, who has plenty of scope for improvement.
"He is probably still six months away," he said - "he is still immature."
Perry was justifiably proud of Hidden Warrior's victory at his first start at Group level.
"He worked early," he said, "Nash (Rawiller) had to make use of him early so it was a tough effort."
Unsure if Hidden Warrior will back up in Saturday's Gr.1 Coolmore Stakes at Flemington - "we will see how he pulls up and how he does during the week" - Perry was joined in his high opinion of the horse by Nash Rawiller
"You all saw how raw and wayward the horse can be," he said, "but he's a talent and he gives me the impression that when it all clicks he can go on to be a genuine Group One horse."
Hidden Warrior was bred by great Lyndhurst supporter and respected bloodstock agent Anton Koolman who has Hidden Warrior's full sister entered for January's Magic Millions Sale.
"Hidden Dragon enjoyed Cox Plate weekend producing his fourth stakes winner and six individual winners throughout Australia to maintain his position in the top 20 sires on wins in the country," he said.
"Whilst the majority of Hidden Dragons progeny race in Queensland his better performances have come outside his home state with black type performers in Victoria and South Australia from a select few runners. Hidden Dragon covered large books of mares which has resulted in a great number of individual winners of multiple races but it is evident that once given the opportunity to cover a quality mare he responds."
"When we sold Hidden Warrior as a yearling," he continued, "I would not have imagined he would be precocious enough to take his place in a Breeders Plate but to Paul Perry's credit he pushed Pierro to a half head.
"If my assessment of Hidden Warrior is correct, he will have a bumper year as a three-year-old."
* in a nice bit of Lyndhurst Stud trivia, the Red Anchor Stakes won by Hidden Warrior was, back in 1993, won by Hidden Warrior's stud mate at Lyndhurst – the evergreen Sequalo!
At the Gold Coast on Saturday Hidden Dragon enjoyed a double with Quizette recording her second victory for the Helen Page stable whilst the in-form Speeding Dragon made it three in a row stepping up from victories at Rockhampton and Emerald. Also in winning form on Saturday was the Terry & Karina O'Sullivan (trainers of Hidden Dragon Gr.2 winner Hollowlea) trained Our Rosella who recorded a one length maiden victory over 2000m at St Arnaud in Victoria whilst another new Hidden Dragon winner on Saturday was Pinnacle Ridge who broke through over 1250m at Cairns.
Hidden Dragon's good run continued on Sunday with Vermithrax won his maiden by a soft 2.3 lengths at Queanbeyan on Sunday and his progeny have also been faring well at this week's breeze-ups for the upcoming National Horses In Training Sale, a very good time of 10.5 seconds recorded by lot 44 – a Hidden Dragon colt out of Blu Power.
Meanwhile Hidden Dragon's family is also in form - at Doomben on Saturday Dee Bee Nine winning his second race in a row. He is a grandson of Hidden Dragon's outstanding dam Ballroom Babe.
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