UP UNTIL his retirement late last year, Bendigo trainer Anne Yates had herself a more than handy stayer in the form of the dual-city winner Weave.
But following the encouraging first-up win of Nuclear Energy at Echuca on Wednesday, Yates now looks to have herself a solid ready-made replacement.
The promising three-year-old gelding was able to tick off his maiden at start number three with a convincing victory over 1400m.
A former Aquis Farm galloper, Nuclear Energy was purchased only recently by Yates and her husband Darryn at a dispersal sale, and has already recouped a portion of their investment in him.
The gelding has seen plenty more of Australia than most during the COVID-19 pandemic, after having his first start for Ciaron Maher at Kembla Grange in May and his second for Queensland trainer Kacy Fogden at Ipswich in September, before debuting for his new trainer at Echuca,
Yates described the well-bred gelding's early career path as 'perhaps a little deceiving'.
"He was always with Aquis Farm and started off with Ciaron Maher and then he got gelded and went for a break before going to Kacy Fogden," she explained.
"They all train for Aquis Farm, so even though it reads he has had three trainers, technically two of those were in the one camp.
"They have dispersal sales on a regular basis through Inglis online and I was looking through. I wasn't necessarily looking to buy another horse because we have two in work and I can't really juggle more than that with me working full-time and Darryn working full-time.
"But I really liked him. He's a very well-bred horse (by Golden Slipper winner Sebring) and they paid considerable money for him as a yearling.
"He was very immature, but we should have a fair bit of fun with him."
While Sebring made his name as a champion sprinter with five wins from six starts in his short but stellar race career, Yates has Nuclear Energy pegged as a stayer in the making.
"He gives the impression he will be a stayer and that's what we had in mind when we bought him," she said.
"To do what he did on Wednesday, even though it was only a maiden field, the way he went about it was nice
"He really accelerated when he needed to, plus he's only a November foal. He still has a lot of learning and maturing to do.
"I'm sure he will continue to improve."
Yates has identified a 1500m three-year-old event at Sandown on December 23 as Nuclear Energy's next assignment ahead of a spell.
"Sandown should suit him, he's a big track-type of horse. He took a bit to balance up at Echuca. The nice long run home should suit his style," she said.
"Hopefully, this guy can replace Weave - I'm not sure the breed will quite get to 3000m, but Weave wasn't necessarily bred to get that distance either.
"We suspect he'll get at least 2000m, if not 2500m."
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