Classy customer Trobriand defied a late drift in betting to run out a worthy winner of the Rangiora New World Guineas Trial (1400m) at Riccarton.
Carrying the familiar tangerine and blue colours of Te Akau Racing for trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson, the showy son of Kermadec was having his first start in the South Island after kicking off his three-year-old campaign with a third placing behind excitement machine Crocetti at Ruakaka last month.
Expected to start a warm favourite in the hands of Te Akau apprentice Niranjan Parmar, Trobriand was challenged hard in the betting market by the Kevin Myers-trained Bozo who started the public elect at $3.20 and provided Trobriand ($3.60) with his toughest competition.
After sitting three-wide for most of the race, Bozo lodged her claim at the top of the straight but was immediately tackled by Trobriand who had tracked her throughout.
Trobriand drew a half-length in front and maintained the margin to the finish line to register his fourth career victory for owners the Te Akau Island Paradise Racing Partnership.
Bergerson was at Hastings with a large team but caught the action on television where he was sporting a wide smile after the victory.
“It was good to see him bounce back after his first up run as he was a very exciting two-year-old,” Bergerson said.
“He was beaten at Ruakaka by a very smart individual but he has come on nicely since then.
“He trialled well at Taupo before heading South and coped with the travel well.
“It was a good, tough effort as he pinned his ears back and had a real go when the horse on his inner challenged him in the straight.”
Bergerson confirmed the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) on 11 November is the main target for the horse, who would most likely have one more run in the Gr.3 War Decree Stakes (1600m) on 28 October to fit him for the assignment.
“The 2000 Guineas is his target, so we will see how he pulls up from this and then confirm his next start with that goal in mind,” he said.
“As long as he is okay then that is likely to be the War Decree Stakes here in late October.”
TAB Bookmakers have Trobriand on the third line of betting in the 2000 Guineas Fixed Odds market behind Crocetti ($2.40) and stablemate Tokyo Tycoon ($2.40), with Lantern Way ($8) the big mover after his victory in the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at Hastings on Saturday.
Bred by Windsor Park Stud, Trobriand was a $260,000 yearling purchase by Te Akau Racing boss David Ellis out of the stud’s 2022 Book 1 draft at Karaka.