Emerging young stallions were again to the fore at Matamata on Wednesday, with debut three-year-old winners by Turn Me Loose and Vadamos in consecutive 1200m maidens, while earlier on the card Enraptured, a two-year-old by Preferment was an impressive debut winner.
The progeny of Windsor Park Stud stallion Turn Me Loose can do no wrong at present and the Jamie Richards-trained Victoria Roc lived up to market expectations when cruising to victory by nearly four lengths.
Sent out a $1.40 favourite on the back of three trial wins, the good-bodied filly camped just off the speed before making her challenge rounding for home and immediately accelerated away from her rivals and was eased down close to the line by jockey Opie Bosson.
Richards, who saddled his final New Zealand runners on Wednesday before relocating to Hong Kong in May where he has been granted a trainers license from next season, was thrilled to unveil such an impressive winner as he makes his exit.
“She has always shown plenty of ability and it was a great win,” Richards said.
“We’d taken our time with her since trialling at the start of March, because of wet tracks, but the weather has played its part.
“She’s a natural galloper, has a high cruising speed, and it was a good ride by Opie.
“We expect she can go on and win more races, hopefully make the step to stakes racing, and thanks to Jonny Hendriksen and Geoff Roan for sending her in to be trained.”
Turn Me Loose, whose eldest are three, has now sired 18 winners from 58 runners and will be represented by Group One winner Lickety Split in Saturday’s Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni.
A race later the Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained Uderzo, a three-year-old gelding by Vadamos, closed over the top of runner-up Eridor to score impressively on debut.
“He is quite a nice horse, he just needs to learn to settle a wee bit, that is why we ran him over 1200m to run him off his feet a bit,” Scott said.
“He will certainly get around two corners at some part of his career, when the penny drops.
“We will take it race by race and we are in no big hurry to go anywhere. The group that owns him have been incredibly patient with him and they know he is only going to get better with age.
“I think one thing he needs is quick ground and there may be a shortage of that over the next little while. We will just find our way with him.”
Scott was bullish on the stock of Monsun’s Group One winning son Vadamos, who stands at Rich Hill Stud.
“We have got four or five and we like them all. They can all gallop and we went back and bought one last year and another one this year. They are fast horses that have got a turn of foot and we really like them,” he said.
Vadamos, whose eldest are three, has had 17 winners from 62 Southern Hemisphere runners including Group Two winner La Crique, who was runner-up in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m), and Listed winners Art De Triomphe and Grace’s Secret. – NZ Racing Desk