The $250,000 Group III ATC Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) was the comeback race for Group I winning colts Griff and Tom Kitten, but with race fitness on his side and a weight advantage I Am Invincible colt Caballus claimed the prize over talented filly Makarena.
Caballus was a million dollar purchase as a yearling and did look the goods when winning a hot juvenile race in winter last year beating quality fillies Estriella and Shaken, but when tried in stakes company last spring he came up short and ended up on Inglis Digital where he was bought by Darby Bloodstock for $315,000.
Sent to Bjorn Baker, Caballus won his first start for Baker last month when resuming from a spell in a Benchmark 72 event and has now taken the quantum leap into stakes company successfully.
Caballus claims the Eskimo Prince Stakes 👌
— 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@7horseracing) February 10, 2024
Ridden by Josh Parr, Caballus pounced on the leaders halfway down the straight and was strong to the line to win by a length taking his overall record to three wins from seven starts with prizemoney topping $366,000.
Parr rode the colt last start and believed he could make his presence felt in the tougher grade.
I thought today, the best way for me to take advantage of this horse having a run under his belt compared to his opposition was to the as close as I could, comfortably. So pre-race I made sure I was pretty adamant that I was going to press forward a little bit, all within reason,” he said.
“Obviously we didn’t get the cover, but with that south-easterly blowing we’re running down wind down the side and he did no work to the 400m. From the top of the straight I knew with this horse’s turn of foot and with his race-fitness as well, there was no way they were going to beat him.
“I think today his turn of foot was electric. He’s run the 1200m strongly today. We could arguably say today’s effort was better, even though he did offset the usual 1100m pattern at Rosehill (last start). I think he’s still on the rise which is quite exciting for everyone involved.”
Raced by Coolmore and partners initially, Caballus was a $1million Inglis Easter purchase for Tom Magnier from the Bhima Thoroughbreds draft and was broken in and educated at Coolmore. Bred by Reg Ryan, he is a full brother to ultra talented five year-old Barassi, who made a name for himself when blitzing his rivals to win the $250,000 Magic Millions maiden at the Gold Coast by four lengths in fast time.
Caballus and Barassi are among five winners from five foals to race from Group III placed Commands mare Calming Influence, a daughter of stakes-winner Calming.
Caballus is the 104th stakes-winner for champion sire I Am Invincible and is his 12th this season.