Promising three-year-old Turn the Ace showed he won’t be fazed by the longer distances as he matures into his imposing frame after winning nicely over 1600m at Ruakaka on Saturday.
The leggy son of Turn Me Loose had to carry topweight of 59.5kgs under rider Craig Grylls and proved too strong for his opposition when winning the ITM/GIB 3YO Winter Championship Series Final (1600m).
At his last start the Andrew Forsman-trained gelding had been caught late over 1400m when feeling the effects of lumping a similar impost on a very heavy surface at Tauranga, but this time he found plenty in the run home on the improved Soft 6 footing.
“I thought he was well placed today if he could get the trip as last time I think he conceded 7kgs to the winner (Musigny Lass), whereas today there was only four kilograms between him and the bottom weight,” Forsman said.
“Craig judged things to a nicety as he didn’t get any favours in front, but he held him up and when he asked him for an effort, he really dug deep considering he over-raced a bit early on.
“He is still a fair way off being the finished product as he has maturing to do, but he is racing with a lot of confidence and was very relaxed before the race when I was saddling him up.”
Turn The Ace does hold a nomination for the Gr.3 Winning Edge Presentations Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton on August 6, however Forsman is wary about making the long trip south with him.
“We will have to discuss the options for him, but I’m not really too keen on going to Riccarton with him,” he said.
“It’s a long, tough trip and he would be up against those seasoned older horses on the typically testing surface they get down there.
“I’m more inclined to keep ticking him along and try to place him accordingly as I think when he does fully mature, he can be a very handy horse with the racing pattern he likes to adopt.”
Raced by a large group that includes Forsman’s parents Steve and Lynne, Turn The Ace was purchased for $30,000 out of the Cambridge Stud draft during the Book 1 sale at Karaka in 2020.
He has now won four of his 13 starts including the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre 2YO Stakes (1100m) as a two-year-old.