A copybook display from rider Sam Spratt paved the way for promising stayer Blue Breeze to notch his second career victory when he took out the opening event over 2200m at Te Aroha on Saturday.
Spratt positioned the Bullbars gelding perfectly in the trail throughout before edging into a gap one of the fence halfway down the long Te Aroha straight.
With the action looking to be out wide as Princess El Jay shot to the lead, Spratt bided her time before asking for the ultimate effort from Blue Breeze who responded well to forge past Princess El Jay in the shadows of the post to claim the win.
Despite the apparent ease of the win Spratt admitted she had her doubts before the race about the gelding’s capacity to handle the firm track on offer.
“He’s been knocking but to be fair I thought the track might have been a little bit good for him,” she said.
“Ideally, he needs some easing in the ground, but he got the trip in behind them, got the split and he didn’t really have to do much.”
Trainer Allan Morley believes his stable star has a bright future ahead of him as he contemplates what his next move will be with him.
“I’ve always loved the horse, but I think he’s still quite immature,” he said. “He’s going to be a lovely five-year old next year.
Sam thinks he is a Cup horse in the making.” Morley was pleased to see the firm conditions for his charge on Saturday after a sticky surface at Matamata contributed to an indifferent performance at his last start.
“The last race he didn’t like the sticky track,” he said. “He either wants the rain to loosen it or firm like it was today.
“Things didn’t quite go to plan as we were going to lead but everyone else took off, so Sam took a trail – it was a great ride.”
Morley will wait to see how the horse comes through his exertions before making any future plans but is leaning towards sending him to the spelling paddock before getting him ready for a spring campaign.