Exciting three-year-old Galleon made plenty of racing pundits sit up and take notice after registering an impressive debut victory at Wanganui on Saturday.
The New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale graduate had been expected to be prominent in the maiden 1200m contest to open proceedings at the meeting, but few expected him to come from last into the home straight to take the win.
What made the effort even more meritorious was the buffeting he took rounding the home bend, which cost him vital momentum before sweeping home down the outer for rider Ryan Elliot.
Co-trainer Johno Benner, who prepares the Not a Single Doubt colt with partner Hollie Wynyard, had been confident of a good run, but even he was taken by the effort.
“He is a proper horse, so we were thinking he would be hard to beat if he got some luck from his wide draw (13),” he said.
“As it was, he got back but managed to settle well for Ryan, however when he copped that bump on the home bend, I thought that might be the end of his winning chances.
“He is a very talented colt though and I think he showed that with what he did in the straight.
“You could say that it was just a maiden race, but you have to start somewhere and beat what is in front of you.
“There aren’t many that can do that at Wanganui, so hopefully it augurs well for his future.”
Bred by James Chapman under his Jamieson Park banner, Galleon was purchased for $320,000 out of the Jamieson Park 2020 Ready To Run Sale draft by prominent owner Gary Harding, before being sent to Benner and Wynyard.
He is out of the stakes-performed O'Reilly mare O'Naturelle, a daughter of Group Two winner Naturo.
“He is a very athletic colt who breezed up nicely before he was sold,” Benner said.
“He has got a few tricks however and Hollie has spent hours and hours with him, working things out and getting his manners right.
“He just has that stretch about him and if he can relax in his races like he did on Saturday then I think he could get up to a mile in the future.
“The phone has been going with offers for him, but we will sit down and speak with Gary about that and see what he wants to do about that side of things.
“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves and will just take it day by day, but he is the sort of horse you definitely want in your stable.”
The victory was just the third for the season for the Otaki-based couple, however Benner is confident it is the start of bigger things over the next few months,
“We’ve got a pretty young team with a lot of two and three-year-olds coming through now,” he said.
“We didn’t want to push them too hard as it is a long season, however I think we have some pretty nice horses ready to step out over the next couple of months.”