At Caulfield in Melbourne, 4YO US-bred gelding Homesman (War front-My Annette, by Red Ransom) made an auspicious start to his Australian career when scoring a hard-fought win in the $120,000 Listed Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) for 3YO+, defeating stable-mate and 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin & Golden Mane. Racing in the familiar navy blue and white silks of leviathan owner Lloyd Williams, Homesman improved his record to 3 wins (including the Gr3 Gallinule Stakes in Ireland) and 3 placings from 8 starts for $314,874 in earnings. Part-owner Nick Williams said Homesman could make his next appearance in the Gr1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on 10 March. "He could join Almandin in the Australian Cup after that," Williams told racing.com. "I'm sure he'll appreciate the big track at Flemington. For Homesman's first run here, it was very, very exciting."
At Belmont Park in the US, 3YO US-bred ridgling Oscar Performance (Kitten's Joy-Devine Actress, by Theatrical) celebrated the second top-flight win of his career when coasting to a comfortable 2 length victory for trainer Brian Lynch in the US$1.2 million Gr1 Belmont Derby (10 furlongs) for 3YOs, defeating Called To The Bar (Henrythenavigator) & Homesman (War Front). The Kentucky-bred Oscar Performance, whose maiden Group One success came in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, has now won his last five starts on end to boost his record to 5 wins from 8 starts for US$ $1,497,632 in earnings. "When he inched away from them in the lane, I could see they were all throwing leather behind him," Lynch told Blood Horse. "I thought, 'He's going to be tough to catch from here.' He proved he can get the mile and a quarter, and I think he beat a quality field of horses today."