El Padrino’s Nursery success tempered by what-ifs for stablemate

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable got the result they wanted with El Padrino in the Inglis Nursery, but it didn’t stop the what-ifs with favourite Boldinho in the postscript to the $400,000 two-year-old contest at Randwick on Saturday.

El Padrino ($10), which was a $210,000 purchase at the Melbourne Inglis Premier Sale, sat three wide for the 1000m before overpowering Calgary Stampede ($9) late to win by a short neck, with leader Athletica ($6) three-quarters of a length back in third.

El Padrino sat wide and was too strong on the line in the Inglis Nursury.

El Padrino sat wide and was too strong on the line in the Inglis Nursury.Credit:Getty

But it was $2.35 chance Boldinho that made for a tough watch for favourite punters. He was trapped behind the three leaders and couldn’t find a gap to burst through and went to the line untested in fourth.

“Unlucky obviously. Lovely colt. One to follow,” was all that jockey Hugh Bowman could offer.

The Sydney assistant trainer for the Maher-Eustace stable, Jack Bruce, agreed that Boldinho should have returned to the winner’s stall rather than being fourth.

“It was a little bit hard to watch in that sense, you have to feel for [Boldinho’s] connections,” Bruce said. “Hugh Bowman rode a great race in the previous [on Mightybeel in the Christmas Cup] and just knocked us off [Herman Hesse] so maybe that luck has turned around.

“Boldinho just didn’t get the break when he needed it, and that was the difference.

“In any case, both horses have run really well and we couldn’t be happier, and it’s great for the stable.”

El Padrino was beaten in a Cranbourne maiden on debut, but the Street Boss colt has blossomed in the three weeks since he headed north and the win was not a surprise to Bruce.


“He’s still a very laid-back colt, so he’s got the right attitude to see him improve into the autumn, and Boldinho is exactly the same,” Bruce said. “The improvement in [El Padrino] since he got here has been incredible.”

Jason Collett was not worried about being three wide on El Padrino and knew his main danger, Boldinho, was tucked in behind him. He saved El Padrino for a late surge, which was enough to get Calgary Stampede on the line.

“He was able to sit there, albeit wide. I clicked him up and he got a bit lost into the straight. He wandered left and then he found it again, and he was good through the line,” Collett said.

“We rolled around a bit in the straight, and when the horse on my inside rolled back in he followed him, and I guess that shut the door on [Boldinho].

“I think there is still more to come for him. He is the sort of colt that will get better as the races step up to 1200m.”

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