Stephen Miller says Saintorio took a big stride towards next month’s WA Guineas (1600m) following a gritty win in the Quayclean Handicap (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Ridden by Brad Parnham, Saintorio had a perfect run behind the leader in third position and held on to defeat Tri For Us by a short-neck after hitting the front inside the final 100m.
It delivered Saintorio, a son of Oratorio, his fourth career victory from 11 starts, his first over the mile and boosted stake earnings and bonus’ to nearly $400,000.
Miller, who prepared Variation to win the WA Guineas in 2016, said Saintorio’s victory answered key questions.
“Yesterday (Saturday) was going to be a crucial part on whether he got the mile and I always thought he would,” Miller told Tabradio.
“It was a pretty strongly run race and I thought it was a pretty good field and there is no reason why he shouldn’t run in that (WA Guineas).
“He’s just a little battler, but he’s a ripper and just keeps coming up every week and runs credible races.
“Even when he gets beaten he’s always doing his best and those type of horses you never know where they are going to end.
“He’s a good little horse who tries his heart out and gives us all a lot of enjoyment.”
Miller said Saintorio would go straight to the WA Guineas on November 19 and bypass a short turnaround in Saturday’s Fairetha Stakes (1400m).
“I might put in a nomination for that (Fairetha) or a graduation,” Miller said.
“I don’t really want to test him against the three-year-olds, the day of the Guineas is the time.”
Sniparoochy continued a top day for Miller and Parnham after she cleared away to win the Byron Bay Premium Lager Handicap (1000m) by 2 ¼ lengths.
Sitting outside the leader Acromantula, she broke clear of that gelding to post her third straight win and first since Belmont last July.
Miller says the Jungle Mist Classic (1200m) is the next target for Sniparoochy with a crack at the Winterbottom Stakes also a consideration.
“If she happened to win the Jungle Mist really impressively, it’s a big step up,” Miller said.
“I’ve always had an opinion of her and she is going to be on pace , so that’s a bit of a plus with her.”
While Saintorio and Sniparoochy were the highs for Miller and cemented their Pinnacle claims, Last Of The Line hit a hurdle in the Asian Beau Stakes.
The son of Blackfriars was down the track to Treasured Star after he knuckled on jumping and became unbalanced, losing several lengths.
“It seem liked he slipped on the near side,” Miller said.
“He’s come through it not too bad and seems well in himself and hopefully everything will be alright.”
Miller said the Railway Stakes remains the preferred option for Last Of The Line and at this stage he’s definitely going there.