New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale graduate Linton showed that he has the makings of a very talented stayer on Saturday with a brave win in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield.
Jumping well from the barriers, Jockey Nick Hall slowly eased Linton (Galileo x Our Heather) back mid-field coming to the first bend before settling beautifully one off the rail for the running.
With the field tightening at the 600 metre mark, Hall got to work on Linton, trailing the flying Cedarburg (Helenus x Infrared) into the straight. In what was a promising challenge from Cedarburg, the pair were stride for stride to the 50 metre pole before Linton really extended, winning by half-a-length.
Part-owner Nick Williams was full of praise for Linton after the race.
"He's a very lightly raced horse and he needed the experience and don't think there'd be much left of him if he ran next week. The plan is to save him and whether he has a run before the Cup or where he goes to next we'll wait and see.
"He'll probably need another run but we have to see how he pulls up. It was his first go at a mile and a half, he's obviously done a great job but there's a lot of improvement in him. He's obviously come on since his Moonee Valley run; let's hope he can keep going."
By one of the best staying sires in the stud book in Galileo, there is nothing to suggest that Linton would have any problems running the full 3200 metres of the Melbourne Cup.
Bookies have heeded the warning moving Linton to the third line of betting at $12 behind So You Think ($6) and last year's winner Shocking ($7).
Owned by Nick together with his father Lloyd and wife Susie, Linton was purchased by Rogerson Bloodstock through New Zealand Bloodstock's 2008 Ready to Run Sale for $275,000.
A regular buyer of two-year-olds at the Ready to Run Sale, Nick says that the sale has been a reliable source of top performing horses for him.
"The New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale has been a good sale for us and we have a lot of success from its graduates including Perlin and Linton.
"A large part of our success comes from winning middle distance and staying races and there are always plenty of horses offered in the New Zealand Sale that are tailor-made for these longer distance races.
"The two-year-olds offered there have had more time to mature and come sale time have developed into very nice horses."
In a lightly raced career spanning only seven starts, Linton's performance on Saturday saw him notch up his third win, taking his stakes earnings to over A$344,000. With connections ruling him out of next weekend's Caulfield Cup, the four-year-old's next start is likely to be either the Mooney Valley Cup or the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes.
New Zealand Bloodstock's Ready to Run Sale will be conducted at its Karaka sale centre in Auckland on 16 & 17 November. The Breeze Ups will take place on 18 & 19 October with DVDs of the breeze ups available from 26 October.