Lucas pushes Australian Cup claims

Former German galloper Lucas Cranach scored his first Australian win in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes

Lucas Cranach threw down the Dubai Australian Cup challenge to fellow import Americain with a history-defying win in the $200,000 Group 2 Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes.

The Anthony Freedman-trained German entire achieved the rare feat of winning the 1800-metre race, which was formerly known as the St George Stakes, first-up when he came from last to wear down Illo and Manighar at his first run since his Melbourne Cup third placing.

TAB Sportsbet responded by slashing Lucas Cranach's price for the 2000m Australian Cup to $3.60. Americain retains favouritism at $3.40.

Freedman is now looking forward to the $1 million Dubai Australian Cup, at Flemington on 10 March, with much excitement.

“I don't think he's won at this distance so it augers well for longer races,” he said. “It was a very impressive win and we'll go to Flemington with a bit of confidence.

“I think it was important that he came here today and maybe not win, but run particularly well given he was going to run in weight-for-age races. You don't know that they are weight-for-age horses until they do it so I was pretty impressed with his acceleration.”

Lucas Cranach, a five-year-old son of Mamool, unleashed a powerful finish to get home in an import-dominated finish.

The $7.50 chance scored by a widening 1-1/4 lengths from another ex-German galloper, the Bart Cummings-trained Illo ($11), with Peter Moody's former Luca Cumani-trained grey Manighar ($6) a short half head away third.

Mike Moroney's former Irish galloper Glass Harmonium ($7.50) ran well for fourth, while heavily backed $2.40 favourite Southern Speed was caught wide for much of the race and had to settle for fifth, just under 3-1/2 lengths from Lucas Cranach.

Nash Rawiller, who won the Group 1 Futurity Stakes on King Mufhasa, had his first ride on Lucas Cranach in the Peter Young Stakes and was impressed with the feel he got.

“He switched off beautifully and I was pretty fortunate whose back I was able to get onto (Manighar),” Rawiller said. “He gave me a nice cart into the race and he showed a tremendous turn of foot when I went.

“It was a very soft win because he just pricked his ears and I had to give him another one to keep going.

“I'm very excited about the opportunity to have a ride on him and hopefully we can continue the association.”

The full result of the Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes is available here

- Racing Victoria