Lord Ardmore too good in the Premier’s Cup Prelude

Former New Zealander Lord Ardmore has continued his rise through Sydney’s middle-distance ranks with a hard-fought win in the Premier’s Cup Prelude at Randwick.

The $2.30 favourite had to dig deep to get the better of Grove Ferry ($19), who refused to lay down, but Lord Ardmore pulled clear over the final stages to score by a half-length with the winner’s Chris Waller-trained stablemate Francesco Guardi ($6.50) another length away third.

The winner will progress to the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2000m) at Randwick in two weeks, a race Waller hopes can be a launchpad to bigger targets.

“That fits into Wyong Cups and Newcastle Cups and maybe even a Metropolitan,” Waller said.

“He’s a five-year-old too so he’s (eligible) for the Five Diamonds, he might get a wildcard for The Big Dance. There are lots of options, which is great.

“He seems to be going from strength to strength and coming out of winter at the right time and there are some nice races there for him.

“He will need to lift but his fitness will improve as well, and I think he can get better over 2000 metres.”

Waller was also pleased with the effort of Francesco Guardi, a son of Frankel who is closely related to dual Arc winner Trev.

He expects the five-year-old to come into his own once get gets to a staying journey and nominated the Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick in October as a possible goal.

“If we can get him to stretch out to 2400 metres, he is a genuine Metropolitan-type horse,” Waller said.

Lord Ardmore gave Sydney’s champion trainer his first Sydney metropolitan win of the new season.

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