Naval Anthem goes back-to-back

Debut Wanganui winner Naval Anthem extended his unbeaten record when he scored impressively at Tauranga.

The Kurtis Pertab-trained and owned son of US Navy Flag had impressed with a front-running win over 800m at Wanganui and repeated the dose on Saturday despite stepping up to 1200m in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series 2YO (1200m).

Sent to the front in the six-horse field by rider Kelsey Hannan, the pair set up leisurely sectionals before pushing the button rounding the home bend.

Despite being challenged late by another debutant in Thunderhill and the fast-finishing Ride Sally Ride, Naval Anthem held comfortably to win by more than a length in 1.16.63 on the Heavy10 rated surface.   

Pertab was delighted to see the gelding perform to expectations after impressing in the build-up to the meeting.

“He really is the ultimate professional, as he does everything right in his work and then brings those manners and attitude to raceday,” Pertab said.

“The race panned out nicely for him as Kelsey got a soft lead and when they hadn’t attacked him I was feeling pretty confident turning for home.

“It was a ten out of ten ride and the fact that we got an early race also helped as the track wasn’t as chopped out as it is going to get later in the day.”

Pertab will now monitor the recovery of his charge before settling on his next mission, although he did harbour some thoughts of tackling the Listed Courtesy Ford Ryder Stakes (1200m) at Otaki next Saturday.

“He thrived after his first run and that gives me confidence he will come through this one just as well,” he said.

“If he does we will consider backing up in the Ryder Stakes, but if I’m not convinced it is in his best interests he can have a short break and we can look at some of the early three-year-old races.”

Naval Anthem, who was a $12,500 purchase by Pertab from gavelhouse.com as a weanling, is out of the stakes winning mare Smitten Kitten and is the younger half-brother to the stakes-placed, nine race winner Pippi Rea and useful performers Maktoum and Gee Cee.

-NZ Racing Desk


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