Talented two-year-old Pronto Pronto has earned a crack at the Group Two Sires’ Produce Stakes with a consolation Sandown win after failing to get a run in last Saturday’s Blue Diamond Stakes.
Trainer Jason Warren was disappointed the Snitzel colt missed the $1 million Blue Diamond as the second emergency but can take heart that the youngster has the ammunition for better-grade races after landing Wednesday’s Schweppes Handicap (1200m).
Up against a number of quality two-year-olds including Blue Diamond Stakes fourth emergency Al Aneed, Pronto Pronto had to navigate across from barrier 12 in the 14-horse field and impressed jockey James Winks with the way he handled the task.
“He’s probably one of the better two-year-olds I have ridden,” Winks said.
“He struggled a bit coming down the dip and struggled coming out of it but as soon as I balanced him up and he had one to run down he was always going to win.”
Shamexpress led the field from an outside barrier and with the three-kilo claim for Katelyn Mallyon looked as if he would hang on and win until Winks asked for final effort from Pronto Pronto.
“I didn’t have to hit him,” Winks said. “I just had to let him meet it (Shamexpress) and do the rest.
“What I really like about him is he’s very cheeky and got a bit of life about him and when the penny really drops with him he’s going to make the top grade.”
Shamexpress, who is also bound for Saturday week’s Sires’ Produce (1400m) at Flemington, was gallant in defeat, going down by a half-length while No Smoken was a well-beaten third, three lengths away.
Pronto Pronto’s only other career start was a fourth in the Listed Emirates Airlines Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield 25 days ago when he was beaten three lengths by Mama’s Choice.
Warren’s stable foreman Mitch Beer described Wednesday’s win as “an absolutely fantastic result”.
“We were a little bit shattered when he didn’t get a run in the Blue Diamond on Saturday because we knew the horse had good ability,” Beer said.
“He certainly wouldn’t have disgraced himself but it was a bit of a blessing in disguise.
“Now we can pick up today and head towards the Sires.”
The Team Hawkes-trained Greenwich was backed from $15 to $9 to win at Sandown and finished fourth while the Mick Price-trained Al Aneed, who was making his debut, started $2.50 favourite and finished fifth.