Titled caps comeback in City of New Plymouth Cup

Comeback galloper Titled strides clear to claim the City of New Plymouth Cup (1800m) on Friday. Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images Palmerston North)

The tireless efforts of co-trainer and part-owner Hollie Wynyard were rewarded at New Plymouth on Friday when comeback galloper Titled took out the City of New Plymouth Cup (1800m).

The well-bred son of Exceed and Excel was a $500,000 yearling purchase at Karaka in 2020, and he showed early signs of living up to his pedigree and purchase price with black-type placings as a two and three-year-old.

Titled finished fourth in the Listed Wellesley Stakes (1000m) at two, then ran third in the following season’s Group 3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) and was runner-up behind the next-start Group 1 winner Pinarello in the Group 2 Championship Stakes (2000m).

After recording a win and a placing in two starts as a spring four-year-old, Titled suffered a tendon injury that put him on the side lines for more than a year.

Nursed back to health by Wynyard along with her partner Johno Benner, Titled returned to the races with unplaced finishes at Te Rapa on December 23 and Te Aroha on January 3.

A strong-finishing second at Wanganui on February 9 hinted at brighter things, and it all came together at New Plymouth on Friday.

Titled settled in fifth place among the nine-horse field for jockey Craig Grylls, then drifted back coming down the side of the track and had only a couple of horses behind him at the home turn.

But Grylls got him into clear air down the middle of the home straight and Titled took care of the rest, bursting to the lead with 100m remaining and then holding out the late challenge of Complicate by a long neck.

Now raced by Wynyard alongside Linda Harding, Titled has had 19 starts for two wins, 10 placings and $80,667 in stakes.

“He was good under the 60kg today,” Benner said.

“He’s just taken a few runs to get the rust off him, but he seems to have turned the corner and he’s coming into some good form.

“He’s always been very capable as we know, and he showed that today, although he knocked off a little bit once he got to the front.

“Full credit has to go to Hollie. He tweaked a tendon and a couple of well-respected vets said they didn’t believe he’d race again. But she’s put a huge amount of work into rehabilitating him over a long period of time. He’s beautifully sound now, and it’s a real credit to her that he’s back racing and performing well.

“It’s great that Hollie shares in the ownership now too. He’s her little pride and joy, and he’s almost become more of a pet than a racehorse.

“We’re really happy to have him back racing and to get this win today, and we’ll probably just chip away with him now and see how he goes.”

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