Ranch Hand (Fastnet Rock) winning the Listed Poseidon Stakes at Flemington

New 3YO Stakes-Winner for Fastnet Rock

Ranch Hand (3c Fastnet Rock x Mezulla, by Shamardal) has always given the impression he would be better at three and he delivered on that assessment when he stormed home to beat race favourite Ingratiating at Flemington on Saturday to win the Listed VRC Poseidon Stakes (1100m).

Trained by Chris Waller, Ranch Hand showed tremendous natural talent to win on debut at Warwick Farm last December and was fifth to Shaquero in the $2million Magic Millions 2YO Classic.

He failed to find peak form in three runs during the Brisbane Winter Carnival, but obviously enjoyed a good break over winter and has returned a more mature competitor.

Dispatched to Melbourne after one trial in Sydney, Ranch Hand was fit and fresh for the Poseidon Stakes and hit the line hard along the inside for Brett Prebble after a troubled run to score an eye-catching head win.

“He got squeezed out at the start and I ended up last, then he was mindful of the horses on the outside and timid to take an inside position,” said Prebble.

“Once he got his confidence and got on the bridle he really travelled strong.

“He’s a really nice horse with a great turn of foot. Today was a learning curve, he had all the excuses to get beaten and he didn’t, he won and he deserved it!”

A $260,000 Magic Millions purchase from the Turangga Farm draft for Tom Magnier, Ranch Hand runs for Coolmore and partners and was educated and pre-trained at Coolmore.

Bred by Stuart Ramsey, Ranch Hand has two wins and two placings from seven starts with prizemoney just shy of $220,000 and is the first winner from Mezulla, a metro winning Shamardal (USA) daughter of Group II placed Vamperalla.

Ranch Hand is the 179th stakes-winner for champion sire Fastnet Rock, who stands this spring at a fee of $165,000.