Ocean Park gelding Key Largo pleased his connections when breaking through for his maiden victory in the Judea Tavern Maiden 1600 at Tauranga on Wednesday.
The four-year-old jumped well and with no early pace on, jockey Kozzi Asano reluctantly took his charge forward to take the lead. Turning for home, Key Largo was headed by The Matador, however, he fought back to regain the lead and went on to record a comfortable 2-3/4 length victory.
It was Key Largo’s fourth raceday start and his connections were pleased to see him rewarded on Wednesday.
“He’s built to a nice win after continuing to strengthen and grow in confidence with racing,” said Pam Gerard, who trains in partnership with Michael Moroney.
Asano was just as pleased with the win.
“He was very competitive and I think the key today was getting him across to somewhere he was comfortable,” Asano said.
“I wasn’t too sure when he jumped out like he did, but no one else wanted to lead and we got an easy sectional from the corner at the 800m.
“That was probably the winning of the race and he was very strong at the end. He ran out a little bit in the straight, but he’s not 100 percent focussed yet and he had nothing to chase.
“It should help his confidence and I think he’ll handle getting through the grades.”