The Mark Minervini/Shayne Cahill combination have come to the fore once again at Balaklava today, with four-year-gelding Drafted (4g Commands ex Diplome) scoring a tidy first-up win.

Hearts were in mouths a touch as the jockey dismounted from the gelding behind the gates, but all fears were allayed when it became apparent an adjustment from the farrier was all that was required.

Jumping from gate six, Cahill was positive from the outset and sent Drafted forward, where he travelled outside the leader for much of the trip.

Approaching the corner and travelling better than the leader on his inside, Drafted shot to a length lead, and with two furlongs still to run, he found himself a sitting duck, but to his credit, he was able to hold on for a much deserved win.

A drop in class on previous assignments saw Drafted have to contend with the impost of 59 kilos which made the first-up win all the more impressive.

Always appearing to be a horse that would mature with time, today's win was number two from 13 starts, and with Drafted performing creditably over longer trips in his last preparation, we can expect the gelding to be tested over such trips this time in.

The win was another for a red-hot Trackside Racing team, and with Minervini turning his horses out in fine fettle as per usual, followers can look forward to another big weekend for the stable where they will be aiming for another feature race win with the unbeaten Arena mare, Little House in the listed Matrice Stakes over 1300 metres.

Daniel Borg

Trackside Media