Nigel Tiley has never lost faith in The Justice League and his patience looks set to reap ongoing rewards.
The Pukekohe trainer has always rated the five-year-old highly and at Ellerslie on Boxing Day the son of I Am Invincible produced further evidence that another black type victory beckons.
The Justice League made all the play out in front and he glided clear in the run home to beat Bella Court, who was in receipt of five kilos, effortlessly in the Otakiri Water Handicap (1400m).
“He’s absolutely thriving and he’s finally starting to grow up,” Tiley said. “I know how good my bloke is.”
The winner of the Group 2 Wellington Guineas (1400m) at three, The Justice League may now return to Ellerslie on New Year’s Day for a crack at the Group 2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m).
He was ridden by Sam Spratt, who had also partnered him to a second placing at Pukekohe last month behind the subsequent Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) runner-up Love Affair.
“He really pleased me there, he was beaten by a pretty fair horse,” Spratt said. “He did it easily this time, there was no pressure and it was just a track gallop.”
The winner of five of his 19 starts, The Justice League is part-owned by former Group-winning trainer Kerry Verner.
“Nigel has done an amazing job with this horse,” he said. “He’s holding his condition as a five-year-old much better.
“We think he will get over a bit more ground, he could be a lovely front-running horse over 2000m.”