Promising stayer Blue Breeze took the first step on the path to a potential Melbourne Cup bid with a dominant first-up victory over 1400m at Pukekohe on Saturday. Sporting the colours of his new part-owners, Cambridge Stud couple Brendan and Jo Lindsay, the Bullbars six-year-old was expected to be running on strongly over the 1400m journey but not as a winning prospect.
Suited by a fast pace set up by Admiral and He’s Cavalier on the tricky Heavy11 conditions, Blue Breeze showed a touch of class as he stormed home out wide for apprentice Erin Leighton to round up the leaders and cruise to a comfortable one and a half-length victory.
Breeder and part-owner Tony Gavigan was thrilled with the performance as he outlined the potential road ahead for the Allan Morley-trained gelding, who finished third behind Glory Days in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) to round out his last campaign. “I think he’s the best handicapped two-miler in New Zealand at the moment,” Gavigan said. “Clearly Glory Days is a notch above us but I think she is going to get a bit more weight than we will (moving forward). “That was everything you could ask for and what a lovely ride by Erin. “It was always going to be a raffle with the track as we never knew how he was going to handle it like that first-up, but he did get second here at his second start over 1400m (in similar conditions).”
A start at Ellerslie in a fortnight awaits Blue Breeze as he prepares for the acid tests ahead in an attempt to secure a berth in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) field. “He will go to Ellerslie in a fortnight over 1500m which will be tougher than this,” Gavigan said. “Then we will go to the Wyong Cup (Listed, 2100m) on September 6 and then the Newcastle Cup (Group 3, 2300m) on the 20th. “If we can win that one, I think we can get enough weight to get in the (Melbourne) Cup.”
Saturday’s victory took Blue Breeze’s career record to four wins and six placings from just 25 starts.