Trainer Stephen Marsh was delighted with the performance of promising three-year-old Hoard The Bourbon, who took out The Oaks Stud 3YO 1600 at Awapuni on Friday.
The son of Iffraaj previously won well at Matamata when resuming, having shown good ability last spring in a campaign that was cut short.
“He’s a horse we have always thought was well above average,” Marsh said.
“He was nominated for the 2000 Guineas (Group 1, 1600m). His run in the Hawke’s Bay Guineas (Group 2, 1400m) was very good where he ran the best sectionals in the race.
“But he just knocked a leg and although it was only minor, because we rated him so highly, we decided to put him aside and look after him and wait for late autumn.”
The attractive colt won by a half-length from One Dream One Soul on Friday, with Saint Bathans five lengths away in third.
Hoard The Bourbon will now contest the Group 2 Trelawney Stud Championship Stakes (2100m) at Pukekohe on April 23.
“He will go to the Championship Stakes and head straight to the 2100m and he could potentially be set for the Queensland Derby (Group 1, 2400m),” Marsh said.
“He just doesn’t have enough prize money to being doing too much at the moment, but if he wins the Championship Stakes, we would get him over and run him in the Derby.
“The Championship Stakes is such a nice race. It is Group Two and we can get him up over ground here before taking him over there. There is a direct flight to Brisbane a week after that race.”
Hoard The Bourbon is raced by the 2020 Bourbon Lane Stable New Zealand LLC and Jen Campin Bloodstock Ltd.
Purchased for NZD$250,000 through the Wentwood Grange draft at the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale, Hoard The Bourbon is a half-brother to stakes winners High Emocean and Elate.
Marsh bookended the eight-race card at Awapuni courtesy of El Vencedor, who won the Bramco Granite 1400.
The son of Shocking was ridden by Michael McNab, who was also aboard Hoard The Bourbon earlier in the day.