Race-favourite Classified (Savabeel x Fire Song) gave the new Bruce Marsh-Warplan Racing Stable their first fillip with an all-the-way victory in the $65,000 Initiation race over 1600m on Sunday.
The local outfit moved five horses from trainer Alwin Tan to Marsh a few weeks ago, headed by none other than Singapore Horse of the Year War Affair (O'Reilly x Kristique). Warplan racing have had great success purchasing from Trelawney with War Affair, War Horse (Tougher Than Ever), and Classified all being purchased by Te Akau Racing for the stable. Classified was a $120,000 purchase from Trelawney's 2013 NZB Premier draft.
While Warspirit, their first runner under the new Marsh banner, did not quite make an auspicious start (sixth) last week, they did not have to wait too long with Classified who, under a 10-out-of-10 ride from jockey Michael Rodd, got home by half-a-length from the fast-closing Zip A Dee Doo Dah (Alan Munro).
Well rated by Rodd, the Savabeel four-year-old took up the early running from the get-go and as he shifted off the rails from the 600m, went full bore ahead down the middle of the home straight. Pinching a break on his rivals, Classified was well clear with 300m to go and looked all set to win big, though Zip A Dee Doo Dah was making quick inroads on the outside.
The confidence in the favourite’s camp, however, looked shaky as Zip A Dee Doo Dah kept gobbling up the ground and Classified was not really advancing, but the late charge proved too little too late in the end.
The winning time was 1min 39.25secs for the 1600m on the Polytrack.
Marsh said Classified came to his yard ready-to-race and his input thus far has just been to apply the finishing touches.
“He came to us a fit horse. All we had to do was bring him to the races,” said the Kiwi handler.
“On pedigree, he needs more distance. The way the track played today probably made it a better run, though.
“He didn’t have a soft lead, let’s say he had a comfortable lead. The other horse ran him close, but my bloke still went out there to win a nice race.”
Rodd said he was in a good place the moment Classified landed at the head of affairs. The rest was just to make sure he got home.
“I was confident enough of a good run today. He did enough to win,” said the Australian hoop.
“He’s still learning what racing is all about. He was waiting for something to pop up, something to chase him, but he’s done a good job in the end.” -STC