Caballus Clocks Class Record at Randwick
31 July 2023
Million-dollar yearling Caballus (I Am Invincible) ran record-breaking time in a smart late-season juvenile win at Randwick on Saturday, emerging as another exciting spring prospect part-owned by Pencarrow principal Sir Peter Vela.
The Chris Waller-trained colt had been a luckless eighth on debut at Canterbury earlier this month, but he made amends in style in Saturday’s A$150,000 ATC Thank You Trainers Handicap (1100m).
Ridden by champion expat Kiwi jockey James McDonald, who is about to be crowned Sydney’s champion jockey for the seventh time, Caballus was given time to find his feet in the back half of the field through the early stages of the race.
When McDonald pushed the button in the straight, Caballus unwound impressively and charged into contention with a powerful burst. The highly rated Estriella (I Am Invincible) rose to meet his challenge and fought back hard, but Caballus came out on top with a half-head victory. He stopped the clock at 1:03.25, which was a new class record.
“He’s a cracking horse, a really good-moving horse, good attitude, and that will take him a long way,” McDonald said. “It’s nice to knock off a nice, sharp two-year-old race with him and hopefully the three-year-old season is good to him.”
Caballus is owned by Sir Peter Vela in partnership with Coolmore, Wynaus, Westerberg, Joe Poulin, Chris Waller Racing, Lynque, Woppitt Bloodstock, Peachester Lodge, Kerry and Jenny Pooley, Rockingham Thoroughbreds and Robert McClure.
A similar ownership group also races other promising and well-bred prospects for the upcoming three-year-old season, including Congregation (Snitzel) and Kandinsky Abstract (Zoustar).
Waller suggested that a possible early three-year-old target for Caballus could be the Group Three Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on August 26.
“James did a great job there, put him into a beautiful spot, got him into a nice rhythm and just kept him rolling,” he said. “We just wanted to get his first win out of the way, then join up where we can.
“He ran very well on debut, he just had no luck. I think the positive out of that is he had a good experience, and today he knew what he was here for.”
Caballus became the 20th individual two-year-old winner in Australia this season for superstar sire I Am Invincible, who heads the overall sires’ premiership in that country with 199 winners from 377 runners, 22 individual stakes winners and total progeny earnings of more than A$23m.
The dam of Caballus is Calming Influence (Commands), who was a five-time winner on the racetrack and placed in the Group Three Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) and Hawkesbury Crown (1300m).
Second dam Calming (Zeditave) was a stakes winner, while close relative War Artist (Orpen) won at Group One level in South Africa and recorded elite placings in the United Kingdom, Dubai and France.
Calming Influence is the dam of four winners from four foals to race.
Caballus was offered by Bhima Thoroughbreds as a yearling last year, and he was bought by Coolmore’s Tom Magnier for A$1m. He has now earned A$100,250 from a two-start career that promises a great deal more over the weeks and months ahead.