Victory for the Mick Kent-trained Philippi in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m)

Victory for the Mick Kent-trained Philippi in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) has provided the trainer with extra confidence heading towards next weekend’s Group 1 ATC Australian Derby (2400m).

As well as providing Luke Nolen with an early double, Philippi’s win also saw Victorian-trained horses win two of the first three races at Sydney’s premier meeting.

“He’s always been a nice horse but this prep he has had no luck at all”, Kent said of the three-year-old.

Winning his first three starts, including the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington in October 2012, the Kent stable would rightly have been confident of scoring a feature win over the Melbourne Festival of Racing.

That didn’t eventuate but the situation certainly looks to have improved in Sydney.

“He raced keenly in the Alister Clark (15 March) so I put the blinkers on him this time”, Kent noted.

Luke Nolen, who had earlier won the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) aboard Lights Of Heaven, agreed that the blinkers had helped the son of Host who still had to be reminded of the job at hand once he reached the front.

Positively, the heavy conditions at Rosehill did not concern Philippi, who prior to today had not raced on anything worse than a Dead surface.

Philippi, who started at $6, immediately firmed from $17 into $11 with TAB for the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) on 13 April at Randwick.

Stable mate High Shot ($9.50) could only manage eighth place, 7.4 lengths behind the winner with fellow Victorian Gerontius ($21) fairing slightly better in fifth.