Trainer Allan Sharrock rounded off arguably his best season with a winning double at Otaki, where the successful return of popular equine personality Tavi Mac was one of the highlights of the day.
The pint-sized warrior, who is affectionately known as Frodo, provided five of Sharrock’s 56 victories for the season, with three of those at stakes level including the Group 2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) back in December.
The son of Tavistock maintained an unbeaten fresh-up record on Saturday as he held out a stern challenge from hardy sprinter-miler Deerfield to win an open 1100m event and move his career record to 11 wins from 17 starts.
It was just the type of effort that Sharrock was looking for as he sets his charge for an attack on lucrative targets early in the new season.
“He got the job done, like he does, and I was more than happy with his effort,” Sharrock said.
“He blew really hard afterwards so he will improve a ton and now its straight to the Foxbridge Plate (Group 2, 1200m) next.
“I thought it was a very nice ride by young Bailey Rogerson as she didn’t beat him up on a track that was pretty hard going.
“It also looked to me like his manners have improved, which is what I was hoping for and that gives me plenty to look forward to with him as we get set for those Group One races at Hastings.”
The Group 2 Valachi Downs Foxbridge Plate (1200m) is the feature event at Te Rapa on August 28 with the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) to be held at Hastings on September 11.
Sharrock has bigger plans for his other impressive winner on the day, rising four-year-old Butler, who ran away from his rating 74 rivals to win by a widening four-lengths.
“He (Butler) has some knee issues, but he is a serious horse on wet ground,” he said.
“He’s going to have a week off now and then go to an open 1100m at Awapuni, where he will be a major threat off a light weight.”
Sharrock also reported that two-year-old Yeaboi, who finished a close second in the day’s feature event, the Listed Courtesy Ford Ryder Stakes (1200m), would now be set for the Listed HS Dyke Wanganui Guineas (1340m) in early September while stablemate and race-rival Catsacharmer (fifth) would be sent to the spelling paddock for a short break.