Three-year-old gelding Horace broke maiden ranks in good style on Monday for trainer Chad Ormsby when landing the Premier Horse Transport 1200 at Pukekohe and looks a promising stayer in the making.
The son of Preferment became the second winner for his sire, with the Brighthill Farm stallion represented by impressive Australian winner Smirk in October.
Ridden by ace jockey Opie Bosson, Horace came from just off the speed to comfortably hold his rivals, with favourite Riverplate making good late ground for second without looking a threat to the winner.
Horace was having just his second start after finishing an eye-catching runner-up on debut at Riccarton during New Zealand Cup week.
Ormsby watched the win while holidaying near Motueka, the closest town to Abel Tasman.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to Opie but he sent me a text to say it was a nice win and he did it easily,” Ormsby said.
“It was a nice ride and he won well, so I’m looking forward to talking to Opie tonight.”
Ormsby purchased Horace as a weanling for $10,000 and his patience has paid dividends.
“He was all Zabeel (sire of Preferment) and he was going to take a bit of time and I didn’t mind putting him out in the paddock and giving him the time he needed,” he said.
“We bought him as a project horse. He has a nomination for the New Zealand Derby (Gr.1, 2400m) but we will make more plans after I have spoken with Opie.”
Horace bares the same name as Ormsby’s grandfather in addition to it being the nickname of Ormsby’s partner Aliesha’s grandfather.
Ormsby sent the inexperienced galloper south to Christchurch for his first start as both a travelling mate for Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) fourth Mana Nui in addition for the experience.
“The main reason was for him to have that travelling experience. If he is to go to Australia or anything at any point, he has had that experience which makes them mature up into a racehorse. He had had a bit of a sheltered and casual life prior to that,” Ormsby said.
“From his first start in Christchurch, I know Vinnie (Colgan, jockey) thought a lot of him and he has improved since then.”
In addition to the victory of Horace, there was further cause for celebration for those associated with Preferment, with Alternate, a half-sister to the four-time Group One winner landing her second career victory when taking out the Haunui Farm 1400 in the colours of the China Horse Club for trainer Lauren Brennan.