The two winners – Sadlers Rock and Passing Shot – have both now confirmed Group races as goals as a result of their victories.
Sadlers Rock has now had five starts over 2200m for three wins and a second and is a very good stayer. He loved the hard track on Saturday and put in the best staying performance of the field to win the race. “We may now aim him at the Group 3 2200 metres Hawkes Bay Cup on 19th April and he’ll have one more race before then.” says trainer Lisa Latta.
Passing Shot had a brilliant victory in a very fast time of 1.08.28. Says trainer Stephen McKee “He’s a very smart colt that has had no luck until this weekend. By going to the front we took luck out of the equation.” He may now head to the Group 1 Sire’s Produce in Awapuni on 29 March worth $225,000. Says Stephen, “With the way he won on Saturday, the 1400 metres of the Sire’s Produce should suit him perfectly.”
Go Racing’s silver medallists were also impressive on the podium.
Charlestown ran a very brave second racing out of his grade. Jockey Vinnie Colgan was full of praise “He was three wide without cover into a head wind the whole way. If he had any luck at all he would have won. It was only the draw that beat him.”
Savour the Moment achieved a tough second on an unsuitably wet track at Te Rapa. He had to do a lot of work early on and was only run down late. He also wore blinkers for first time which helped him to run a straighter line than he has in the past.
The previous day saw Mt Difficulty coming from near last on the turn and weaving his way through the field for a fast finishing second. Jockey Chris Johnson said he felt terrific and wants to stick with him.
The weekend concluded on a high note with Kauri Park running a promising third on debut in Singapore. Champion trainer Bruce Marsh said, “He stormed home making up about five lengths over last 100 metres and only missed winning by about a neck. He is a serious horse with big future.” It is likely Kauri Park will step up to 1200m on grass for his next start.