It was only at February’s Magic Millions meeting at Pinjarra that the Jason Miller-trained Broker broke his maiden, less than three months later he is lining up in a 72+ rating race at Ascot in Saturday company.
Broker finished within two lengths of the winner at four of his first five career starts, but persistence paid off with the Trade Fair gelding, as he broke through for his first win on February 10.
Since then, Broker has had four starts, winning the past three, and will be out to make it four in a row in the D’Orsogna Italian Raceday-May 19 Handicap (1600m) on Saturday.
Miller said he had to be patient with Broker, but indicated the last few starts showed just how much ability he had.
“He’s always shown a bit,” he said.
“It’s probably taken a while for the penny to drop.
“It probably surprised me last start how easy he put them away.”
Broker has just five rivals in this week’s event, the smallest field he has competed come up against in his career.
TABtouch has installed Broker, to be ridden by William Pike, a $2.70 favourite, ahead of the in-form My Greek Boy ($3.40) and Lex Piper Stakes winner Miracle Man ($3.50).
Miller said he was aware it would be a tougher assignment for Broker this week given the class rise and small field, but one that the gelding would be up for.
“He’s stepping up to the mile and stepping up to 72+ grade, so it is a test for him,” he said.
“Sometimes they can be tricky races, but there seems to be a bit of pace in it which should suit him, and he drops in weight.
“I had him nominated in a couple of other races, but that swayed me to go that way.”
Meanwhile, Miller will once again have the opportunity to record his first blacktype victory as a trainer in his own right when Startthefriar lines up in the Group 2 WATC Derby.
The Blackfriars gelding won on debut at Narrogin over 1100m the day before Broker won his maiden, and has gone on to compete in the Lex Piper Stakes, J.C. Roberts Stakes and Melvista Stakes this campaign.
Startthefriar, like many of his rivals, is yet to run on anything but a good track, and with rain forecast on Saturday Miller said he couldn’t discount the chances of his gelding.
“They are tipping a fair bit of rain on Saturday, so that might be a plus come late in the day,” he said.
“He’s been chucked in the deep end this prep.
“I think his runs have been reasonable without winning.”
The Ascot meeting gets underway at 11.48 on Saturday morning.