Laser Flash on the Australian Derby path
Mandy Cottell
06:19 AEST Thu Feb 28 2013

A win in midweek grade is a far cry from the Group One Australian Derby but that's the path Laser Flash will head down after his all-the-way victory at Canterbury on Wednesday.

The colt showed his versatility to take up the uncustomary role of frontrunner in the small field of five and it proved a winning move.

The three-year-old had shown staying promise but lacked a turn of foot and trainer David Payne feared it would count against him around the tight-turning Canterbury circuit.

He told jockey Jason Collett to be positive in the early stages and that decision paid off at the business end of the 1900m race with Laser Flash pulling out plenty of reserves to score a comfortable 1-1/4 length win over stablemate De La Dilo.

"He just goes at the one bat and he hasn't got that turn of foot," Payne said.

"It's not ideal for him to lead so it was a good effort, and he had 59 kilos as well."

Laser Flash was competitive in good company during the spring when he placed in the Listed Dulcify Quality.

Payne has no qualms about stepping him up to the 2400 metres of the Australian Derby during the autumn carnival.

"He's going to go for the Derby," Payne said.

"He stays all day."

Also headed to more lucrative races is the Clarry Conners-trained Ciao.

The filly resumed with a classy victory in the Canterbury Park Handicap (1200m), a win that came as no surprise to her trainer who has long held her in high regard.

"She's a nice filly. I've always had a bit of an opinion of her," Conners said.

"She was first-up and I thought she may have been a bit underdone, she'd only had the one trial.

"But I thought she might be a bit better than them today so I said to (apprentice) Shaun (Guymer), `ride her nice, she has a good draw, do the best you can' and that's how it worked out."

Conners has tested Ciao in stakes grade several times with her best result a fifth in the Group Two Reisling Stakes as a two-year-old.

But he feels she has returned a stronger filly this autumn and while he has no grand plans for her, he hopes she can capture some black type during the carnival.

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