Sultan Of Swing (Bachelor Duke) will head to his target race for the season in prime condition.
On Saturday, the five-year-old warmed up for a Group Two feature with a successful outing at Te Aroha where he came from well off the pace to win the Team Wealleans Handicap (1400m).
“He’ll run in the Easter Handicap next, that’s always been his goal, providing they don’t get a wet track,” trainer Shaune Ritchie said.
“The long straight at Pukekohe will suit him ideally.”
Ridden by Sam Weatherley, Sultan Of Swing settled back in a strongly-run race and the son of Bachelor Duke powered home in the straight for the sixth win of his career.
“They went hard early and he dropped a fair way off them, but we had decided to ride him cold from the wide gate and that allowed him to go through his gears,” Ritchie said.
Sultan Of Swing has now won twice this preparation and returned a cheque in his other three appearances.
“He’s been a model of consistency and the only time he has disappointed me was at Rotorua, but he’s got a terrible record on left-handed tracks,” Ritchie said.
The gelding proved too good for the unpredictable Ronchi, who finished runner-up and returned a decent performance after his customary slow start while the well-supported Romancer boxed on for third after racing the trail.
Sultan Of Swing is enjoying his second stint in Ritchie’s Cambridge stable and after two domestic successes he transferred to Ritchie’s brother Craig in Sydney. He placed there in all three of his outings.
Bred by IDL Racing Sultan of Swing was born and raised at Trelawney. His dam Queen Cha Cha, who has also produced Group One winner Suavito (Thorn Park), had a further boost on Saturday when her three-year-old daughter Chilly Cha Cha (Mastercraftsman) ran third in the Gr.3 Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick.
Sold for $160,000 as a weanling through Trelawney's NZB weanling draft Chilly Cha Cha odds for next week's Gr.1 Australian Oaks have trimmed from $51 to $26.– NZ Racing Desk.