Sollevare raised many an eyebrow on Sunday, racing to a dominant maiden win in just his second career start over 1755m at Geelong. In doing so, he may have announced himself as a potential Derby contender in his three-year-old season.
Sollevare is a son of NZ-based and UK-bred stallion, Raise the Flag. Raise the Flag has made quite the impact in recent times, producing a number of stakes winners. The Matt Cumani trained Etah James is one of those stakes winners, and it was Matt’s appreciation for Etah James’ talent that led he and Terry Henderson to first look at Sollevare as a two-year-old earlier this year. As a result of that inspection, the youngster was secured and shipped to Australia for his future racing career.
On debut over 1400m at Ballarat three weeks ago, Sollevare settled too far back in running before finishing off strongly. Over the longer journey at Geelong, Dean Holland was positive out of the gates and left alone in front, with no other takers for the leading position. He remained in the lead throughout, extending his advantage in the run to the line to record a 2 and half-length win.
Following in the footsteps of three-year-olds Civil Disobedience (a Derby winner) and Parthesia (an Oaks winner), Sollevare will be given every chance now to see if he can step up to the classic staying distances in his three-year-old season. He will now have a short let up, before commencing a campaign aimed towards the VRC Derby during this year’s Spring Carnival.
The way this gelding hit the line at Geelong on Sunday indicates that he’ll only improve once he steps out further in trip. Should he be lining up at Flemington on November 3, his owners eyebrows will be raised higher again.