Palmetto earns Group One Doomben Cup Tilt

Palmetto powers to a big race victory in the A$500,000 The Coast at Gosford


















By Jonny Turner 

Palmetto yet again brought his best when the big money was on the line when winning the A$500,000 The Coast (1600m) at Gosford.

The son of Ghibellines charged out of the pack to bank the winner’s slice of a lucrative race stake for trainer John Sargent and rider Kerrin McEvoy.

Palmetto (Ghibellines-Carolina Island-Darci Brahma) was a standout performer in New Zealand, winning the Listed Southland Guineas (1600m) and the Listed Dunedin Guineas (1500m).

His outstanding success in the south prompted the horse’s sale out of Sally McKay’s stable to clients of the Sargent stable.

Palmetto has built his form in Australia, winning powerfully at Hawkesbury over 1500m before relishing his step up in distance in The Coast.

Rider Kerrin McEvoy was full of praise for the galloper after his big win at Gosford.

“He’s an unassuming little fella, but Sarge has brought him over here, nurtured him along and he’s gone from strength to strength in this preparation,” McEvoy said.

“He’s got a good motor and a will to win – he’s a really determined little fella.”

Palmetto’s back-to-back wins have earnt him a million-dollar tilt in the Group One Doomben Cup (2000m), this Saturday.

“I’d be surprised if he can’t stay a bit further than this,” McEvoy said.

“He’s got the great asset of a quick start, getting himself into a good spot, and then he relaxes and he’s just waiting for you.

“He’s purring away, ready to go – he’s adaptable to all tracks, which he’s shown in his last couple of starts.

“Obviously you’re going to have the A-graders there (at Doomben), but why not? You’ve got a little horse in form, and he might just go up to that extra trip and excel again.”

“He’s really on the improve, and he’s a nice horse going forward.”

Ben Thompson will ride Palmetto in Saturday’s A$1,000,000 Doomben Cup.

The winners have just kept flowing for Ghibellines right through the autumn.

Rosy Clark (Ghibellines-Nancy Wake-Personal Escort) made it back-to-back wins over 1200m at Riverton when scoring for Brian and Lorraine Anderton and the Blue 'n' Gold Syndicate.

Where’s Wally (Ghibellines-Car Key-Carnegie) and Global Star (Ghibellines-Biosphere-Encosta De Lago) have also added to Ghibellines outstanding success in Australasia in the 2022-23 season.