Promising three-year-old Accidental Tourist may have set himself up for a shot at the Listed Wanganui Guineas (1340m) next month after he broke his maiden status in fine fashion at Hawera on Sunday.
The Mark Walker-trained son of Westbury Stud stallion Telperion had finished third at his only two-year-old start back in November last year before being put aside for a spell after suffering badly from a bout of shin soreness after that effort.
An impressive win on a heavy surface at the Te Rapa trials in late June gave Walker the confidence to line him up on a Heavy10 track at Hawera and he duly obliged in the hands of Craig Grylls as he came from well back to run down former stablemate Badgeringdawitness by more than a length at the line.
Walker was pleased with the effort as he looks ahead to bigger and better things for his charge.
“I thought he could get through the ground alright based on what he did at the Te Rapa trials, although it did appear to be very testing there,” he said.
“He went badly shin sore after his first race so we had to put him aside for a good break to let him grow into himself.
“He had come back well and I was keen to get him on a track with plenty of give in it to try and give him a good experience for his first run back.
“The way he won you would think he has a bright future ahead of him, so while the tracks stay wet, we might try for some black-type in the Wanganui Guineas at his next start.”
Accidental Tourist is the younger half-brother to Listed Newmarket Handicap (1200m) winner Red Striker and was an $80,000 yearling purchase by David Ellis out of the Westbury Stud Book 1 draft at Karaka in 2021.
Walker has a large team of younger horses around him and took the opportunity to give many of them a hit-out at the Te Rapa trials on Thursday along with a number of his more established performers.
“I thought it was very good and smart planning by Te Rapa to have a trial meeting during the week as there are so few opportunities to trial horses on grass at this time of the year,” he said.
“We had a big team in on the day and I was delighted with how they all performed.
“It was good to get them out and they will all take plenty of benefit fitness-wise from the day.
“If I had to name some that impressed me most, I thought both of the two-year-old winners in Egyptian Queen and Sky On Fire went nicely and look like early runners while maiden three-year-old filly Sans Doute won her trial quite easily.
“Of the older horses both Brando and Prise De Fer went boldly and they will step out at Ruakaka over 1400m in a fortnight.
“They aren’t suited to the first day at Hastings next month but will likely feature down there on the last two days of the spring carnival.”
Walker also reported that quality mare Imperatriz had trotted out well this morning (Sunday) after her effort to win the Kerikeri Cup (1100m) at Ruakaka on Saturday and was right on target to tackle the Gr.2 Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa on August 27 at her next start.