A patient approach taken with promising galloper Mach Schnell paid a winning dividend at Ellerslie on Sunday.
The Shaun and Emma Clotworthy-trained five-year-old has always exhibited plenty of promise but greenness and a lack of maturity had combined to thwart his winning aspirations earlier in his career.
Those factors looked to have been overcome during his current campaign where he has put together a win and four placings in his last five starts before adding to his winning tally in the Franklin Auctions 1400m.
Ridden by in-form jockey Craig Grylls, the son of Zacinto settled beautifully in midfield before looming into contention at the 300m.
Grylls asked for a serious effort as Mach Schnell hit top gear to race to the front before holding out a serious challenge by race favourite Gee Cee.
“He has the makings of a very nice horse, but we have had to be patient with him,” Shaun Clotworthy said.
“He hasn’t had a lot of luck in his last few starts and probably should have won at Tauranga last time when he got carted off the track before running home for third.
“We were pretty confident today as long as he got some luck and it helped having Craig on him as he is riding really well at the moment.”
Clotworthy is now looking ahead to the upcoming Auckland Cup Week carnival at Ellerslie in March, with a stakes assignment further down the track an additional option.
“He is probably looking for a mile now, but we will take a look at what is on offer at the Auckland carnival before we make any further decisions.
“If he keeps improving there is the chance that he could contest a race like the Easter Handicap (Gr.3, 1600m) in April, but that will depend on how he comes through his racing as he has been up a while.”
Clotworthy was also pleased with the effort by Malt Time, who finished runner-up over 1100m one race earlier on the card.
“She probably wasn’t suited by dropping back from 1400m last time, but she went a very good race,” he said.
“She has been a little suspect going right-handed, even though she has won that way lately.
“She is coping with her racing well, so we will look to keep her going over the next few weeks as well.
“There could be a race for her at the Auckland carnival as well or she can have a little freshen up and look for something in the autumn.”
An $80,000 purchase by part-owner Leighton Howl from the Beaufort Downs draft during the 2018 Karaka yearling sale, Max Schnell is out of the Volksraad mare Anya and has now won two of his 11 starts.