After Pancho’s outstanding second placing to stablemate, Kubrick, in the $1 million Bondi Stakes, trainer Chris Waller set him for the Listed TCL TV Stakes (traditional name the Batman Stakes). This is a traditional 3yo 1800m race run at Flemington on Oaks Day for potential stayers of the future. Many years ago our Tony Noonan-trained Dambuster ran in the race but to our dismay champion jockey Damien Oliver was three wide throughout and Dambuster finished well back. Last year’s race winner has gone on to bigger and better things, as that was Melbourne Cup winner, Vow And Declare. Hopefully Pancho can also go on to bigger and better things.

Drawn a little awkwardly in barrier eight out of fourteen, the plan was to get back and slot in, which jockey Hugh Bowman managed to achieve. But coming into the straight he was held in by another runner near the tail of the field and his chances looked forlorn. However Hugh managed to push his way into the clear and Pancho took off. He flew down the outside to reel in race favourite Russian Camelot in the shadows of the post, much to the delirium of his large group of owners present. (Photo courtesy of Racing Photos)

He has been very impressive at each of his last three starts, and prior to the Flemington race, Chris had already earmarked a Rosehill Guineas program for him. That has now been confirmed and his immediate plan is a three-run program starting with the Gr 2 Hobartville Stakes on 22 February over 1400m, followed by the Gr 1 Randwick Guineas on 7 March over 1600m, and then the Gr 1 Rosehill Guineas on 21 March over 2000m. As you can imagine that plan has the owner group very excited.

Of added significance was the fact that Pancho was Dissident’s first stakes winner, which is great news for the Laurel Oak syndicate which owns a share in Dissident.