A HUGE statement was made by Act Now in Kilmore just moment ago.
Second-up from a spell, Act Now blitzed a strong field to capture the Red Withers Classic.
In doing so the Emma Stewart-trained colt issued an ominous warning ahead of next weekend’s Victoria Derby heats.
The qualifiers are part of a super card in Bendigo, which is scheduled to host the $200,000 Final a week later.
“He went terrific,” Stewart said. “Although his run last week when first-up didn’t seem that impressive, I was happy with him.
“His work this week had improved dramatically and he was ready to run a big race.
“That run will really sharpen him up, and with more work at home and the heats to come, he will be right at his peak for the Final.”
Driven by Jodi Quinlan, Act Now was given time to settle into his stride from the second row as Kimble led from barrier five.
Angled three-wide with a mile to travel, Act Now was allowed to stroll to the front in what proved a winning move.
“One of the keys to winning tonight was being in front of the favourite and Jodi drove him perfectly to do just that,” Stewart said.
Striding clear of the pack at the top of the home straight, the son of Somebeachsomewhere cruised to a 10-metre win from Kimble.
American Dealer was a half-head away third in 1:56.8 over 2180 metres.
“He felt terrific tonight,” Quinlan said. “When we turned into the straight and I gave him a little more rein he just wanted to go and ran away from them on his own.
“I didn’t have to move on him and he had plenty left on the line.”