Romancer’s home track victory at Ruakaka on Saturday drew a celebration from afar.
The four-year-old produced a dominant performance to win the Catapult Partners Chartered Accountants Handicap (1400m) for trainers Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs and apprentice Jordan Nason, who sported the colours of the Australian-based OTI Racing.
“Terry Henderson is a big part of this horse, he loves his Redwoods so he’ll be rapt,” Gibbs said.
Romancer was purchased out of Westbury Stud’s draft at Karaka in 2015 by Logan for $110,000 and Henderson, who was the under-bidder, subsequently jumped at the opportunity to buy into the horse.
The gelding has now won four of his 10 starts, including last season’s Listed Mufhasa Stakes (1300m).
Romancer led early before settling in the trail on Saturday and he ambled up to the leader 300m from home. When Nason asked for a serious effort, he forged clear to leave Spindle in his wake.
“Jordan tried to ride him cold, those were the instructions, but no-one wanted to go forward,” Gibbs said.
“The horse flattened out beautifully today, the best I’ve seen him.”
While connections were delighted with Romancer’s success, it came in a race that wasn’t their first choice.
“He’s a beautiful-looking horse and he paraded in lovely order at Ellerslie the other day, I was gutted when they called the race off,” Gibbs said.
He was also pleased with the effort of the third placegetter Jake The Muss, who came from last in an overdue show of form.
“When he came in last time we put him back out for 10 days, he wasn’t right so we backed off and he’s come back well now,” Gibbs said