BENDIGO trainer Josh Julius will take his time deciding what path to take with Just Folk following his impressive fifth in Sunday's $200,000 Listed Seymour Cup (1600m).
The progressive five-year-old gelding raced wide without cover throughout at Ballarat, where the race was run, but stormed home to finish four-lengths from the winner Mr Brightside.
Julius, who backed up on Monday by saddling up a winner with his first starter Satin Ruler at Echuca, could not have been more rapt with Just Folk's effort given the circumstances.
"He went absolutely enormous," the young trainer declared.
"We were a little bit worried heading there that there wasn't going to be a lot of pace and certainly not the same pace we saw in the (Listed) Paris Lane Stakes the week before.
"As it turned out it there was even less pace than we envisaged.
"He had to be four or five-wide the entire trip on a drying track, but to still be coming home and hitting the line full of running in a sit and sprint, coming from near last, was a real credit to the form he is in.
"I'd like to think that in the right race and given the right barrier and with a bit of luck for a change, we might be able to pick one of these races up with him during the spring.
"There's no concrete plan with him going forward at the moment - that was probably the first time we have backed him up and backed him up in that grade, so we will let the dust settle for a few days and let him get over his last couple of runs and assess whether he runs in a race over Cox Plate weekend, or whether we just wait for a suitable race during the Flemington carnival."
The quality of the Cup race was demonstrated through the brilliance of the winner Mr Brightside, who recorded his sixth consecutive win.
"Mr Brightside is going to be a very good horse going forward, and we know he hasn't reached his peak," Julius said.
"To have the run we did and to be four lengths away from him, that's a credit to how well our boy is going."
Just Folk went into the Seymour Cup with a win at Murray Bridge in July and four straight placings in Melbourne city races from his last five starts.
Julius was equally rapt - and perhaps a little caught off guard - by Satin Ruler's win on Monday.
The four-year-old gelding was making his race debut and came from last on the home turn, about seven lengths off the leader, to swamp his rivals and win narrowly by .1-length over Hettinger.
Julius said he was left with egg on his face after advising his aunty and one of Satin Ruler's owners, Warrnambool trainer Anne MCGrath, on his way to the races to have 'a very small investment on the place'.
"I couldn't really trust him on his trials, he hasn't shown a whole lot for us on the track at home," he said.
"I was hoping he'd run a place and then we could step him out over a bit further where he would be a lot better suited.
"He's gone above and beyond what we expected.
"I don't know what the depth of the race was, but it was good to see him do that in his first race."
Satin Ruler, ridden by Daniel Stackhouse, who notched a double on Monday, powered to victory in the McGrath colours, made famous by 100-1 shot Tears I Cry in his $1m Group 1 Emirates Stakes win at Flemington in 2007.
Julius, who was Tears I Cry's strapper on that day, said it was always good to get a win for family, no matter the level of racing.
"Those Group 1 races are what we strive for, so to be there and be part of that years ago is something none of us forget,' he said.
"It would be a brave man to say that he (Satin Ruler) will rise to those heights, but it was good to see him win his first start nonetheless."
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