Waverley trained galloper Sergeant Blast made it two from two in his new summer campaign with a comprehensive win over 1600m at Trentham on Saturday.
The promising five-year-old had disappointed in the spring after showing any amount of ability in an earlier campaign that had concluded with a victory over subsequent Group Two winners All Roads and Shadows Cast in January last year.
Put aside after finishing near last in early December, Sergeant Blast resumed with a stirring win over 1600m at New Plymouth. That performance earned him the favourite’s tag for Saturday’s open handicap event and he didn’t disappoint courtesy of an outstanding ride by visiting South Island jockey, Samantha Wynne.
Wynne quickly had the Darci Brahma gelding in a lovely position behind the pace after jumping smartly from a handy barrier. Content to bide her time in the trail, Wynne shadowed the speed throughout before angling into the clear approaching the 300m mark. Sergeant Blast quickly claimed pacemaker Handfull before easing clear to win by half a length at the line.
Trainer Sam Lennox was quick to comment on the manner of the win.
“I said to Wayne (Crowley), who’s one of the owners, I don’t think he’s ever had a run like that,” he said.
“We were laughing at the 600m as it was a just matter of if he was on, he was going to be hard to beat.”
Lennox now believes it is the right time to test his charge over a middle distance as the next step in his current campaign.
“I think he is probably looking for more ground now and it is the plan to get him up over 2000m,” he said.
“He ran a bit more like a stayer today, just a real solid grinding win.
“I’m more of a one race at a time type of guy so we will go home tonight and make a plan, but it will most likely be that he runs over ground next time.”
The victory was one of four on the day for rider Samantha Wynne who had earlier been successful on promising two-year-old filly Miss Valencia along with northern raider Our Abbadean. She closed out her day by taking out the last event on race favourite, Flamingo.