A fortunate encounter at Karaka led Chris Gibbs the way of Warsaw, who is proving himself to be a sound investment.
The son of Vadamos finished third in last season’s Gr.3 Avondale Guineas (2100m) off the back of a maiden success, and on his home track at Ruakaka on Saturday he doubled his winning tally.
Spelled after a troubled run when unplaced in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m), Warsaw resumed in outstanding fashion when he accounted for his Rating 65 opposition over 1300m in the hands of Opie Bosson.
“He was extremely impressive I thought, and he ran the fastest 800m, 600, 400 and 200 so he was flying, he’s a beautiful horse,” Gibbs said.
Secured as a yearling for $25,000, Warsaw is out of the Zabeel mare Stanica, who won four times and ran second in the Gr.1 Avondale Gold Cup (2200m), and is a half-brother to the Gr.3 Lee Stakes (1600m) winner Rhythm To Spare.
“Funnily enough, he had been passed in and I had walked onto the sale complex and was talking to Dave Duley, he went through his Landsdowne Park draft on behalf of Pencarrow Stud,” Gibbs said.
“I was looking at the horse in the box and Dave said do you want to pull him out. I had a look at him and he was a nice type, you had to forgive a few things here and there, and he had a very nice pedigree page and I reckon I stole him.”
Amid overseas interest, Gibbs is happy to take Warsaw along quietly and work him through the grades.
“There are a couple of guys sniffing around to buy him for Hong Kong, he’s a nice horse and at the right price everything is for sale, so that’s an option,” he said.
“In the meantime, we’ll push on and in a month there’s a Rating 75 mile here, so we’ll look at that.”
Warsaw’s stablemate On The Wall also won for Gibbs on Saturday and, coincidentally, his former training partners Michelle Bradley and Donna Logan celebrated winning doubles at Ruakaka and in Singapore respectively.
“We were all in partnership at one stage and all got two winners over the weekend so that was pretty cool,” Gibbs said.
Also ridden by Bosson, On The Wall had placed at his previous two outings and broke through over 1200m.
“He was impressive too, we had a few little niggling issues with him and the addition of the tongue tie helped,” Gibbs said.
“If you watched his last two runs he was just hanging a bit and doing a few things wrong. Opie said he was very tractable on Saturday and a totally different horse, he only had to run straight and I thought he would win.
“There’s a nice Rating 65 over 1300m worth $35,000 here in two weeks’ time so why go anywhere else than his home track.”
Gibbs was also pleased with the placed performances of Chevron in the 2100m handicap and Malfy Rosa, who ran fourth behind Warsaw.
“Chevron looked a bit dour and didn’t quite have the turn of foot he had the time before, but he was still very genuine so you can’t knock him form,” he said.
“There’s a couple of options and I’ll see whether we stay on the home track or head to Te Rapa and try him there.
“Malfy Rosa was huge and she’s a really nice staying type. We’re looking forward to getting her up over ground, but in the meantime there’s a nice Rating 65 mile for her at the next meeting and she should be pretty hard to beat.”
The daughter of Burgundy showed her quality last season when fourth in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m), the Gr.2 David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic (2000m) and the Gr.3 Championship Stakes (2100m).
“She was the only one who was up on the pace in the Oaks and stuck on, all the others stopped so her run was huge,” Gibbs said.