Talented three-year-old colt Sword Of State shrugged off an indifferent Australian spring campaign to display his true class when he dominated his rivals in the Gr.3 Cambridge Stud Almanzor Trophy (1200m) at Ellerslie.
Wearing the colours of Brendan and Jo Lindsay, who co-own the colt and sponsored the race, the son of Snitzel sat in the trail behind pacemaker Bonny Lass before rider Opie Bosson had him off the rail to challenge on the point of the home turn.
Bosson said go at the 300m and Sword Of State bounded clear before stablemate Imperatriz set out in pursuit as the pair knuckled down to fight out the finish. Bosson asked for the supreme effort at the 150m and Sword Of State answered as he maintained a comfortable length and a half margin at the post with Wewillrock holding out a late run from Rhinoceros for third.
Trainer Jamie Richards, who has made this night his own over the past few years, was pleased to get his first win on the board for the evening.
“We’re on the board, which is pleasing and now we can concentrate on the next few races,” he said.
“Good to see him back in form as he is obviously a quality colt.
“Things didn’t go our way in the spring, but he was back with a vengeance today.”
Richards wasn’t making any excuses for his charge who had finished out of the placings in all three of his Australian races, where he clashed with quality gallopers such as the Chris Waller-trained group One winner, Home Affairs.
“You can put his defeats in Australia down to the quality of the horses he met over there,” he said.
“You’re going over there trying to beat them at what they are best at doing which is producing quality sprinting horses.
“No disrespect to our racing, but it is slightly easier here than Melbourne or Sydney in the spring and there was nothing like Home Affairs here tonight.
“It was a good, positive Opie ride as he popped off and challenged at just the right time.”
Bosson was delighted with the effort and particularly with the colt’s racing manners.
“He raced beautifully and wanted to be on the pace and was keen,” he said.
“He towed me into the race, pinned his ears back and ran to the line, which is what you want out of a colt.
“I hadn’t gone for him until the 150m and although I didn’t know what was coming after him, he ran the race right out.”
Purchased by Te Akau’s David Ellis from the Gold Coast yearling sale, Sword Of State is raced by the Te Akau 2020 Four Colts Breeding Syndicate, where Cambridge Stud are the majority shareholders.
Crowned New Zealand Champion two-year-old for the 2020/2021 season, Sword Of State has now won five of his 9 starts including the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) and the Gr.3 Waikato Stud Slipper last season.
Richards added further glory to his already outstanding record when he took out both $1million races on the card with Dynastic in the Doubletree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and Pin Me Up in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m).