By Michael Guerin
Scott Phelan knows Major Perry’s win at Cambridge on Thursday night means more than just a spot in next month’s Sires’ Stakes Final.
He knows he means the plan of training partner Barry Purdon is working.
Phelan drove the speedy son of Art Major and Katy Perry to the juvenile’s first career victory in the Sires’ Stakes heat and he looked the winner a long way from home.
Major Perry, who had been luckless so far in his career, dived straight on to the back of stablemate Montana D J at the 1700m start and was in the box seat when Classy Operator keep the pressure on the leader throughout.
That saw Classy Operator first beaten from parked and Montana D J in trouble at the top of the straight as Major Perry went straight past him up the passing lane before holding out the very strong late charge of debutante Strength And Honour.
The runner-up was every bit as good as the winner and the upside down nature of the race, with a 1:55.6 mile rate for 1700m even though the last 800m was in a pedestrian 59.8 seconds, also means Montana D J lost few fans.
But while the margin was only a neck Phelan says that is more from Major Perry shutting off when he hit the lead rather than him getting tired.
“He is very fast and just got there too soon and shut off but the second horse must have gone well too,” said Phelan.
“But this horse is still learning. Once I got that trip behind that sort of speed he was always going to be hard to beat.
“He is the speedster of the two whereas Montana D J is probably the better stayer.”
With both horses safely into the Sires’ Stakes Final now they have their goals set for next month while the Purdon/Phelan stable also has three high class juveniles fillies in the Sires’ Stakes Fillies heat at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
“It is great to have so many young horses in the team,” says Phelan.
“Obviously it is not an easy thing to achieve and Barry has done such a great job getting most of them from the sales and that is what owners usually want, horses who can race for that big money at two.”
The stable clearly has plenty of those in their around 30 horses in work, with three of those talented young juveniles owned by Queensland-based Dean Shannon.
“Dean is a great owner, you never ever hear him complain and he has got some lovely horses.”
The best of them, Belle Of Montana, is due back into work on June 1 after a long spell with indication she is healthy and happy and ready to start a new campaign.