Take The Crown has done everything asked of him by trainer Shaun Phelan ahead of his debut at Wanganui on Saturday in the opening juvenile contest of the season.
The youngster has won both of his lead-up trials and the booking of rider Lisa Allpress in the Wanganui Chronicle 2YO (800m) is another major plus.
“I looked at last year’s result and saw that she won it (aboard Rubicon Crossing) so I thought I would get in early and get her on, she’s a natural two-year-old rider,” the Cambridge-based Phelan said.
Take The Crown drew attention to his early prospects with consecutive trial successes earlier this month at Te Rapa and Avondale.
“He’s done everything right and educated him as much as we can with the two trials,” Phelan said.
“He’s gone around horses and come through them and we’re hoping he’s a bit more versatile than some of the others.
“He’s been pretty natural and enjoys being in work and is a real people pleaser.”
Take The Crown’s education also took in a trip to Whangarei in July with several other members of the stable.
“He’s one of the horses we took up to Ruakaka and it really did him good and gives us confidence he will travel away, he’s quite laid back,” Phelan said.
Take The Crown was originally purchased as a weanling off Gavelhouse by Leanach Lodge for $5,000.
“Ross and Ian Mackay then bought him back (for $31,000) as a yearling, they decided they wanted to try and have a go at the Karaka Million (Listed, 1200m) and hopefully he’s the one,” Phelan said.
By Ten Sovereigns, Take The Crown is out of the Irish-bred Invincible Spirit mare My Country whose family has enjoyed success in New Zealand through the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) winner Age Of Fire.
Phelan will also run stable newcomer Maggie Ruth in the Take It Easy Tours Maiden (1340m) at Wanganui.
“She trialled alright at Avondale the other day, we dropped her out the back and let her get home and we’ll do that again,” he said.
“It’s a trip away and we’re still learning about her, but she’s has been working well.”
Meanwhile, last-start Taumarunui Gold Cup (2200m) winner Enchanted Elle will step out at Hawera on Sunday in the Grangewilliam Stud Breeders’ Stakes Saturday 7th October Handicap (1600m).
“We’ve freshened her up and she could run a cheeky race over a mile, but it’s a shame she’s ended up with topweight,” Phelan said.
“After this, we’ll look at some staying races before the tracks get too firm. We’ll see what the weather does and we might even back her up in the Waverley Cup (2200m) or aim for Hawke’s Bay."