Chairman’s Stakes: Blinkers have transformed South Australian Derby hopeful Miletus

Trainer Jamie Edwards admits his emerging talent Miletus was “pretty slow” not so long ago before a crucial gear change made the gelding a genuine racehorse.

The son of Olympic Glory made an uninspiring start to life on the track until Edwards reached for the blinkers and Miletus has been on an upwards spiral since.

So much so that he will travel across the border from Victoria this Saturday as one of the leading contenders for the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2040m) at Morphettville.

“The blinkers switched him right on,” Edwards said.

“He was a pretty slow young horse.

“We gave him a few trials before his debut and he ran last in a few of them and wasn't really showing us much but once we put the blinkers on him it switched him on.

“We only put them on on racedays and not in trackwork. He is not a good worker at all but they’ve done the trick on raceday.”

Edwards gave Miletus his debut last November and the blinkers were applied after two starts with almost immediate results.

He won his maiden over 2226m the following month before Edwards put him away to target high honours during the South Australian carnival.

The promising gelding gave a glimpse of his staying potential second up when racing clear for a convincing 1½-length win at Sale over 1728m on April 7.

Miletus winning at Sale earlier this month. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

It was all the proof Edwards needed to pull the trigger on a trip across the border for the Chairman’s Stakes.

“He has worked good all week and will only need to travel over well to run well,” Edwards said.

“We got him up to a staying trip last preparation and his first up run this time in was competition before the 1700m run, which was good.

“It‘s up in grade over 2000m now but he is obviously a nice horse. This will be his big test.

“When he went to the paddock we had the South Australian Carnival in mind.”

Miletus shares the second line of betting at $7 with the Matt Cumani-trained Nobel Heights for the Chairman’s Stakes.

A date with the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) on May 8 will follow Saturday’s assignment and TAB.com.au rate Miletus $17 chance to capture the staying test next month.

“He is on a Derby path,” Edwards confirmed.

“No one really knows if they can stay the trip but his start over the 2200m couldn't have been more impressive.

“He is starting to get over a trip now.”

Jockey Damian Lane will continue his partnership with Miletus on Saturday.

Originally published asBlinkers unlock Derby hopeful’s potential

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