Harbour Views, ridden by John Allen, wins at The Valley (Image: Racing Photos/Pat Scala)
Harbour Views started his career with five wins and a visit to The Valley on Saturday was required to reignite lofty spring aspirations.
The French-bred gelding by Le Havre suffered three successive defeats, albeit finishing in the minor placings and experiencing mixed fortune, before his sixth win came in the $108,000 Inglis July Sales Series Handicap (2040m).
Harbour Views ($3.80) settled in the box-seat under John Allen and built momentum through the testing Soft (6) surface around the home turn before forging clear to score by 2.25 lengths.
Double You Tee ($15) improved dramatically third up to finish second ahead of Django Freeman ($3.60 favourite) who battled away gamely after settling behind the leader but evidently resented the conditions.
“A tick for 2000 metres and a tick for getting around The Valley,” said winning trainer Matthew Williams.
“He certainly seemed to corner well and it went to plan there. Johnny (Allen) probably couldn’t have given him a better steer than what he did. It just unfolded perfectly for him.
“It will be good to get a few more rating points with him now and start to plan a spring prep with him.”
Williams suggested Harbour Views would become familiar with The Valley during the first half of next season.
“The Feehan (Stakes) is probably the one (race) that we’ve got our ears pricked for,” Williams said.
“That looks a good race for him to possibly get a free ticket into the Cox Plate.
“We’ll just have to see where his rating goes now and have a bit of a look back through previous fields and see where he’s going to get a run there. He might still be borderline there.
“He’ll only have a short let-up - just couple of weeks in the paddock. He’ll just do a bit of beach work and water walker work and poke along.
“For a big horse he’s a very clean winded horse so it doesn’t take a lot to get him back up again.”
Allen described Harbour Views’ performance as “very impressive” as he extended beyond 1600 metres for the first time in his nine-start career.
“He jumped a lot cleaner today which enabled us to find a more forward spot which seems to be pretty necessary today,” Allen said.
“But once we got a good position early he was always travelling easily. He was probably in front too soon but he was too good for them.
“We landed in a good spot and he put them away. He’s still a work in progress but he’s quite lightly races but as long as he keeps improving he’ll be able to target better races.”