Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver has been booked to ride Mutual Trust (GB) in the G1 Railway Stakes (1600m) in Perth on Saturday week.
Mutual Trust (5g Cacique – Posteritas by Lear Fan) was a Group 1 winner over 1600 metres in France and Swettenham Stud owner Adam Sangster heads a syndicate that imported him to Australia late last year.
Trainer Sam Pritchard-Gordon predicted the gelding will be peaking for the trip to Western Australia. “I’ve left a fair bit in the tank,” Pritchard-Gordon said. “He will be suited over 1600 metres under handicap conditions in Perth.”
Still on an upward curve this season, Mutual Trust was beaten two lengths and change by Solzhenitsyn in the G1 Toorak Hcp (1600m) at Caulfield and was then runner-up to Mouro in the Sale Cup (1600m) last time out.
Mutual Trust has been a work in progress for Pritchard-Gordon since arriving at his Mornington stables. He was gelded after an initial autumn campaign and the English-born trainer is confident there’s a nice race in the five year-old.
“We learned a lot about him during that first prep,” Pritchard-Gordon said. “He’s still not fully wound up.”
Mutual Trust was bred and raced in France by Juddmonte Farm owner Khalid Abdullah. His career began with four wins in a row culminating with an outstanding victory in the Prix Jean Prat (1600m).
He defeated Coolmore colt Zoffany in that Group 1 at Chantilly just two months after his debut! A fortnight beforehand, Zoffany had finished a three-quarter length second to Juddmonte superstar Frankel in the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Damien Oliver rode his 98th Group 1 winner aboard Fiorente in last week’s Melbourne Cup and he will sport Swettenham’s famous green and royal blue silks in Perth. The home-town hero claimed his last Group 1 at Ascot on Sniper’s Bullet in the 2009 Kingston Town Classic.
The trip to WA will also be a coming home of sorts for Scott Lichti who joined Sangster in the Mutual Trust syndicate. The Californian-born basketballer starred with the Perth Wildcats in the 1990s.
– Karl Patterson