Last season’s outstanding two-year-old Tokyo Tycoon showed he is right on target for some lofty goals this season with a professional display to dispose of his three-year-old rivals in the Listed El Roca-Sir Colin Meads Trophy (1200m) at Hastings.
The Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson-trained galloper swept all before him at two with five straight victories culminating in the Gr.1 Sistema Sakes (1200m) before losing the race via disqualification several weeks later after returning a swab irregularity.
Despite a pair of lacklustre trials to fit him for his campaign opener, punters kept the faith that he still had the measure of his age-group rivals, sending him out a dominating $1.90 favourite and he duly delivered in the hands of rider Opie Bosson.
Settled well back in the running, Bosson started his move at the 600m as he allowed the son of Satono Aladdin to slide forward into a challenging position rounding the home bend.
Bosson asked for an effort shortly after and received it immediately as Tokyo Tycoon dashed to the front before easing down to win by just on two lengths from Burn To Shine and maiden galloper Rezeki, who fought on bravely to hold out Codigo for third.
Walker had been confident he had his charge somewhere near the mark for his resumption, regardless of his trial showings and that faith was rewarded with a dominant showing.
“Opie summed it up pretty quickly as we thought there was plenty of speed in the race, so he let them go and then got a nice drag into it,” Walker said.
“He is just a real racehorse and it shows a trial is a trial, trackwork is trackwork but on raceday he comes good.
“He is a workman-like horse and you’d love another 20-30kgs of bodyweight on him, but he is just a little champ.”
Walker indicated the horse would return to Hastings to tackle the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) on 30 September, however, while he is currently the $4 Fixed Odds co-favourite for the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton, he may have another feature event in his sights instead.
“With a little bit more sun on his back and with a little bit of his coat to still come out, I think there is good improvement in him,” he said.
“We will go one race at a time and while I don’t think the 1600m will bother him, it is a big trip to Riccarton whereas the Karaka Million 3YO (1600m) at Ellerslie (January 27) is worth $1.5 million and that is a nice race to aim for.”
Purchased by Te Akau Racing boss David Ellis for $125,000 out of his breeder Rich Hill Stud’s draft during the Book 1 Sale at Karaka last year, Tokyo Tycoon has now won five of his six starts and just under $700,000 in prizemoney for owners the Meadowbank Masters Racing Partnership and Te Akau Satono Samurai Racing Partnership.
The win was the first stakes success for the new training partnership who have already established a clear lead in the National premiership after just a month of the 2023/24 season.