First Innings off the mark at Pukekohe

First Innings on his way to winning at Pukekohe on Wednesday. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Classic assignments could be in the offing for promising stayer First Innings following his impressive maiden win at Pukekohe on Wednesday.

The three-year-old son of Contributer had pleased trainer Andrew Forsman in his three prior outings, including a runner-up effort over 2100m at Te Rapa last month.

The three-year-old gelding settled midfield on the fence for leading hoop Opie Bosson in the midweek fixture and enjoyed an economical passage throughout. Down the home straight, Bosson was able to find a gap between runners, and First Innings began to chase down leader Northern Raider, got on even terms with his rival at the 100m mark, and powered away to a 1.25-length victory.

Forsman was pleased with the winning performance and the manner in which First Innings closed out the 2100m.

“He has done quite well in a pretty short career to date. He is lightly tried but every start he has been impressive,” Forsman said.

“He is an out-and-out stayer, he will just get better with time. He is doing it all on one preparation, which is the hard part at this stage. He seems to be handling everything well so far.”

First Innings holds a nomination for the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on Saturday-week, and Forsman said a decision on whether his gelding tackles the Classic will be made in the coming days.

“We will see how he comes through it first and foremost and then have a talk with the owners and see what they want to do,” Forsman said. “There are different arguments to be made for doing it either way, but firstly we will leave it up to the horse to decide and then work it out in the next couple of days.

“He is promising, he is going to end up a nice open-class stayer and it is always nice if they can do something as an age group horse as well. That is what we will be trying to do, and whether that is next Saturday or we are a little more patient, we will work it out.”

Forsman has a good association with the New Zealand Derby, having won it on two prior occasions when training in partnership with Murray Baker, including Mongolian Khan in 2015 and Vin De Dance in 2018.

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