Former Singapore galloper Magnum opened his winning account in New Zealand with stakes success at Awapuni on Saturday.
The New Zealand-bred son of Per Incanto was too good for his sprinting rivals in the Listed Bramco Granite & Marble Flying Handicap (1400m) and his connections are now keen to step the five-year- old up in distance.
“I think a mile will be his go,” trainer Lauren Brennan said.
“We’re looking at the Easter Handicap.”
Magnum was originally in her Cambridge stable and won three trials before he transferred to the Kranji operation of Michael Freedman.
He was successful three times for Freedman and when he decided to return to Sydney the gelding was taken over by Englishman James Peters, who won a further race with him. Joint issues resulted in Magnum returning home to his birthplace at Little Avondale Stud, who share in the ownership, for a good break before Brennan took charge of the five-year-old again.
“It’s like he’s never been away,” she said.
“He’s got the best temperament in the world, he’s the coolest horse to have around and he’s got a great mind. We’re rapt with him.”
Magnum pleased connections with his resuming effort for second in February and while then unplaced in the Group 3 Darley Stallions Plate (1200m), he didn’t disappoint.
“He got well back and hit the line strongly,” Brennan said Magnum was ridden close to the pace by Danielle Johnson at Awapuni and after hitting the front early in the run home held the late runs of Ruby Armani and Shadows Cast successfully at bay.