Despite having to sit wide throughout, promising juvenile Saltcoats proved too strong for his rivals in the feature race at Pukekohe on Saturday, the Listed Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Futurity Stakes (1400m).
The son of Ardrossan had looked like he would lap up the 1400m distance of the contest after closing off strongly at his first two starts which resulted in minor placings, including finishing third to Solidify at Listed level at his previous outing.
Rider Kozzi Asano was content to settle the Samantha Logan-prepared runner in midfield during the early stages although he was caught three-wide in the eight-horse field.
Asano slid forward to issue his challenge on the point of the home turn, where Saltcoats took control as he eased away from the field on the Heavy10 surface to record an impressive four-length victory over Paragon and Chantilly Lace.
Logan had been confident of a good showing and got just what she was looking for, as Saltcoats provided the 31-year-old horsewoman with her first stakes success on the flat.
“He was really tough today and we are so proud of him,” Logan said.
“We gave him his first start over 1300m, so I felt there would be no problems stepping up to 1400m as I expect him to be very potent over a mile next season as a three-year-old.
“I was a little concerned when I saw him get stuck out wide, but I trusted Kozzi’s judgement as he knows him well and the main thing is to get him into a good rhythm which is the key to him.
“Kozzi did say he handled the going okay but is a much better horse on top of the ground where he has an electric turn of foot.”
Logan will now send her charge for a spell but is resigned to the fact that that may have been his last start for her Cambridge operation as his likely racing future lies across the Tasman.
“That might be the last time we see him in New Zealand as he is likely to do his future racing in Australia,” she said.
“I will leave that to Bruce (Perry) and Lib (Petagna) to decide, but I’m thrilled to get a win like this for them as they have been huge supporters of me.
“I’ve had a number of Ardrossan youngsters in the stable and hopefully we can find another smart one or two like this guy to keep the roll going for everyone involved.”
Saltcoats races in the familiar lime colours of Wellington businessman Lib Petagna who bred him from his lightly raced Savabeel mare Savanite, a half-sister to the Gr.2 Waikato Gold Cup (2400m) winner Singing Star.
He becomes the third individual stakes winner from the first crop of his sire Ardrossan, following Listed winners Codigo and Loch Katrine.
The son of Redoute’s Choice was retired to stand at Waikato Stud in 2019 after a racetrack career that saw him win four of his nine starts including twice at stakes level while also finishing third in the Gr.1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa.
Ardrossan will stand for a fee of $10,000 + GST this breeding season, with the full book sign already up on the popular young stallion.