Cambridge visitor Burn To Shine threw his name into the mix of serious contenders for the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) next month with a determined effort to take out the Gr.3 War Decree Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton.
The Stephen Marsh-trained three-year-old had finished third behind Saturday’s race-rival Lantern Way in the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at his last start and turned the tables after enjoying a perfect run in transit for rider Johnathan Parkes.
Parkes sat Burn To Shine one-out behind a muddling speed set up by Funfetti before joining issue shortly after turning for home.
In contrast Lantern Way ($2.80) was forced to travel three-wide throughout before commencing his run at the 600m with the race favourite Trobriand ($2.70) tracking him all the way.
Burn To Shine took control at the 300m and fought doggedly when tackled by the favoured pair, holding off the charge of Trobriand by half a length with a further length back to Lantern Way.
Marsh was on track at Pukekohe for the day but admitted he had watched the race on television with some excitement.
“It was a very good win and one he deserved as he has been going cracking races,” Marsh said.
“Parkesy said there was no speed on and he probably got to the front a little soon, but he was very resolute and ran the mile out very strongly.
“We train this one for The Oaks Stud, who are very big supporters of the stable, so it is great to get a win like that for them and repay the faith they have in us.”
Marsh will now take Burn To Shine straight to the 2000 Guineas and is upbeat about his prospects.
“We know now he gets a good mile and has experience on the track which will stand him in good stead for what comes next,” he said.
“We also know the Guineas favourite (Crocetti) is a very fine horse but we are here with no travel ahead of us and we can just do our own thing and have him cherry ripe on the day.”
Raced by The Oaks Sud principal Dick Karreman, who bred the horse, Burn To Shine is out of talented race mare Smoulder who numbered the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) amongst her four career victories.
TAB Bookmakers quickly slashed Burn To Shine’s odds for the 2000 Guineas from $21 to $8.50 behind red hot favourite Crocetti ($1.75). - LOVERACING.NZ News Desk