Barely thirty minutes after unbeaten three-year-old filly Legarto put her hand up to start favourite in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) next month with victory in the Gr.2 ATR Eight Carat Classic (1600m), her main rival issued an emphatic statement that he won’t be going down without a titanic struggle.
The Mark Walker-trained Wild Night went into the Listed Shaw’s Wire Ropes Uncle Remus Stakes (1400m) as the winner of his last four starts and extended that record to five with another eye-catching performance.
The son of Windsor Park Stud resident stallion Vanbrugh disputed favouritism with his main rival Sacred Satono and it was no surprise to see the pair square off in the final stages to determine the final outcome.
Rider Opie Bosson gave his charge a perfect run in behind the pace and after spotting Sacred Satono two lengths at the 200m, Wild Night wound up powerfully to charge to the front and win going away by just on a length at the post.
Bosson was licking his lips at what was on the horizon for his mount, who he compared to a former star of the Te Akau Racing team..
“He’s a bloody good horse and there is still some improvement in him,” Bosson said.
“I just can’t wait for the Karaka 3YO Classic and the clash with Legarto.
“He has been screaming out for a mile as they had him a little off the bit for much of the race, but when he lets down underneath you, jeez it gives you an amazing feeling.
“He reminds me of Te Akau Shark a bit, looks like him and has the same racing style.
“I’m very impressed by him, he has run sectionals like Legarto so it’s going to be a good clash.”
Walker was delighted with the performance as he looks ahead to Karaka Million night on January 28 and the clash with Legarto who is also prepared at Matamata.
“It was a really good effort as Opie didn’t panic and he (Wild Night) took a lot longer to wind up today,” he said.
“He is on target for a mile and even a bit further later on.
“I’m sure there is going to be a bit of banter at the track with Legarto going into the Karaka 3YO Classic, as it is shaping up as a tremendous race and the mile is going to be right up our alley.”
Raced by the Te Akau Love To Party Partnership, Wild Night was purchased by Te Akau Racing supremo David Ellis for $50,000 from the Windsor Park Book 1 draft at Karaka in 2021.
He is the fourth foal of Falkirk mare Supreme and the younger half-brother of Gr.2 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) winner Play That Song who also finished second in the 2020 Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and fourth in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m).
Wild Night now sits as a clear $3 second favourite for the Karaka 3YO Classic with Legarto at $1.60 and Sacred Satono the third Fixed Odds fancy at $8.