Wild Night claims further Boxing Day success

Wild Night winning at Pukekohe on Tuesday. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson have been playing the catch-up game with Wild Night for next month’s $1 million Aoteoroa Classic (1600m), and they seem to be winning.

The talented four-year-old placed first-up at Otaki last month over 1200m before trialling at Matamata over 1000m last week to ready him to tackle the Barfoot & Thompson 1400 at Pukekohe on Boxing Day.

After sitting three back on the fence throughout, Bosson was able to find a passage through runners down the home straight and Wild Night hit the front with 200m to go and was able to hold out the late challenge of Uderzo to win by a short neck.

Walker said Wild Night has been a tough horse to manage and he was pleased to see the son of Vanbrugh return to winning form ahead of his rich target next month.

“He has got such a big frame and he hasn’t really had the best of legs. He takes quite a bit of management,” Walker said.

“Unusually, we trialled him on Friday and you wouldn’t normally do that. We are just trying to catch-up a little bit as he is a little bit behind where we should be for the Karaka Millions 4YO.

“This will bring him on a lot and he will run at Ellerslie in that race on the twilight night. It was a good win today.”

Walker said Bosson’s experience was a telling factor in the concluding stages of the race.

“It was good to have Opie back in the saddle, he was suspended last week. Gee he is good in a tight finish, no one really beats him,” he said.

The victory continues Wild Night’s great association with Pukekohe’s Boxing Day meeting, having won the Listed Uncle Remus Stakes (1400m) 12 months prior.

It was one of five victories for the gelding in a standout three-year-old season, with his other wins including the Group 2 James And Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m), and he also placed in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) and Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m).

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