Properantes earned a shot at the Perth Cup (2400m) after overcoming a distance query to win the Perth Racing Instagram Handicap (2200m) at Ascot on Saturday.

Experienced trainer Colin Webster said Properantes could have been left vulnerable when making the step up from 1600m to 2200m, his first attempt at the trip.

But his concerns were allayed when Properantes, given a perfect ride from Troy Turner, ran home powerfully from fifth at the corner to defeat Bedamijo by one length.

“It was a big jump from 1600m to 2200m and I was worried about that,” Webster said.

“It was the big question mark but I conditioned him by giving him a lot longer work.

“He has raced against some pretty good horses and acquitted himself well.

“He will have one more run in the St Ledger and then the Perth Cup.”

Properantes, who won the Listed Raconteur Stakes (1500m) in March, posted his first win this campaign.

He ran third to Neverland when first up and was beaten a neck by in-form galloper, Stocks last month.

Neverland won a hat trick of races before a sound fifth to Perfect Reflection in last week’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).

Underrated galloper Stocks, prepared by Sean Casey, has won five of his past six races including three in a row.

But despite his recent form he is playing understudy to stable mate, Vega Magic, who is shaping as a potential star.

The three-year-old has been surrounded by hype since his first hit out when he won a trial by 14 lengths.

It’s taken a short time to find his mark but after placings from his opening two starts he has set tongues wagging.

The gelding confirmed he was the “real deal’ when he led from start to finish and went to the line untouched in the Amelia Park Handicap (1200m).

He was under a tight hold until the turn but once apprentice, Jake Casey, lengthened reign he responded with a devastating turn-of-foot.

It’s the second dynamic win for Vega Magic, who started a red-hot favourite, after producing a similar performance at Ascot midweek.

Casey(Sean) said Vega Magic had passed the biggest test of his short career with flying colours.

“There were some real nice youngsters in the race and to put them away like he did, I couldn’t be happier,” Casey said.

“He was hitting the ground so nicely and got around the corner balanced before Jake let him rip.

“I’ve never felt so much pressure as I have with this horse, he is just a real firecracker.

“I’m not sure of his immediate plans but I won’t be pushing any buttons I don’t have to.

“He is such a bright prospect and many people are starting to have a good look at him.”

Julio Santarelli