It’s little wonder that commentators are calling him the ‘best from the west’.
Scales of Justice added another black type victory to the CV on Saturday when winning the Group Three Hyperion Stakes over 1600m at Belmont in commanding fashion and there appears to be little doubt he’s nonpareil in Perth over the mile.
Back in November, Scales of Justice followed up a victory in the Group Three RJ Peters Stakes with Group One success in the Railway Stakes over 1600m at Ascot before falling just short in the Group One Kingston Town (1800m) a fortnight later.
He was beaten just on half a length in the Kingston Town with Douglas Whyte suspended following the race after stewards believed the South African jockey had stopped riding the horse two strides short of the post.
But Scales of Justice’s popular trainer, Lindsey Smith, isn’t in the habit of looking back and will now target the Group Three Strickland Stakes over 2000m at Belmont on 1 July.
“Just how he races in that will largely depend on which way he (Scales of Justice) goes in life,” Smith reveals. “If he doesn’t handle the step up in distance, I’ll keep him to a mile, but if he does handle it – and I’m fairly confident he will – there are any number of choices.”
The $1.5 million Australian Cup over 2000m at Flemington on 10 March?
“That’s certainly an option for him.”
Smith knows what it’s like to win an Australian Cup, having taken out the race with Old Comrade in 2002.
The trainer also returned to Flemington in 2004 for a memorable victory in the Group One Victoria Derby via Plastered.
“I’d probably rate Scales of Justice behind Old Comrade and Plastered at this stage, but each stride he takes brings him closer,” Smith adds. “He runs great sectionals and has such a tremendous cruising speed. If he ends up being able to run out a strong 2000m, I’d suggest Melbourne is definitely on the agenda.”
Never out of a place in 16 outings to date, Scales of Justice has won eight – the Hyperion being his third at stakes level – and placed eight times for $1,266,350 in stakes.
It’s been a happy result for connections and for agent, Craig Rounsefell, whose Boomer Bloodstock snapped up Scales of Justice for $180,000 from the Millford Thoroughbreds draft at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
Breeders, Gerard and Kathy Hammond, were chuffed at the price too as Millford’s Jarrod Byers explains: “We thought Scales of Justice would make around $80,000 to $100,000 in the ring. He was a slow maturing horse, but had grown out really well at the farm and was always a nice type.
“Turns out though that both Craig (Rounsefell) and Robbie Laing were very interested in him and he eventually sold for $180,000.
“It was great for Gerard and Kathy … they breed from three or four mares every year and have been long-time clients.
“There’s a lot of swings and roundabouts in this industry. They sold a Written Tycoon colt for just $5,000 at the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale which was then pinhooked as a ready to run horse for $90,000 before going on to win over HK$5 million in Hong Kong as New Asia Sunrise.
“So, it’s great to see when they get a result like they did in Melbourne and also for Craig, Lindsey and the entire Scales of Justice team.”
Scales of Justice’s dam, Beymatilla, failed to meet her reserve of $400 when consigned to the 2014 Inglis Great Southern Bloodstock and Weanling Sale – mere months after her colt went through the Oaklands Junction ring.
The Hammonds then gave the mare to Millford Thoroughbreds which put the mare in foal to Magnus, but sadly she passed away around three months short of foaling.
“In light of how well Magnus is going, along with the rise and rise of Scales of Justice, I reckon that foal would have been pretty popular in a sales ring,” Byers adds.