Exceedance stuns rivals in San Domenico

Vinery colt Exceedance has the world at his feet after a stunning first-up victory in the San Domenico Stakes Gr.3 at Rosehill Gardens.

The Team Hawkes star blitzed the best 3yo colts in training on Saturday and bookmakers reacted by firming him into favouritism for Group 1 targets in the Golden Rose ($4.40) on September 28 and Caulfield Guineas ($8) on October 12.

Exceedance stalked boom colt Bivouac into the straight and then cruised home by two lengths in Vinery’s green and white silks.  “I told Tommy (Berry) to ride like he was on the best horse and let him do the rest,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes said.  “He’s a very exciting colt and made it look easy.

“That was only his third start and the heavy track wasn’t ideal first-up.  The Golden Rose is the plan.  He looks like a horse that will appreciate stepping up from 1100m to 1400m.”

Vinery purchased Exceedance for $180,000 at the 2018 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale with a syndicate that includes Rupert Legh, Neil Werrett, Phoenix Thoroughbreds and Glenlogan Park.

He’s by champion sire Exceed And Excel and is the first live foal of NZ-bred mare Bonnie Mac (Thorn Park).  She won at Trentham and Matamata for trainer Mike Moroney before transferring to his Australian operation where she claimed black-type in the Proud Miss Stakes LR at Morphettville.

“He felt very comfortable in the prelim so I was pretty confident before they jumped,” Berry said.  “I’m just full of praise for Exceedance today.  He’s one of the nicest young horses I’ve ever ridden.”

Vinery bought several colts last year searching for stallion prospects and they’ve struck gold with Exceedance.  A magnificent-looking individual, he was the pick of the yard before the San Domenico and is right on track to join a future roster at Vinery.

“I was keen to see him step up as an early 2yo but he went shin-sore twice,” Vinery general-manager Peter Orton recalled.  “He was still a big baby when he got so far back in both starts last season.

“He needed time but bloomed during a break before coming back into work.  We’ve had a lot of luck with Exceed And Excel colts like Headwater out of the Sydney Easter Sale.”