Harlech stakes his Guineas claim

Pam Gerard was singing the praises of the Moroney brothers after the handsome colt Harlech (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}) raced up to his looks at Te Rapa to confirm his passage south for the G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas.

Gerard runs the Matamata arm of Michael Moroney’s trans-Tasman operation and produced Harlech to run away with the G2 Sarten Memorial on Monday with a performance that has seen his price tumble from NZ$41 to NZ$10 for next month’s Al Basti Equiworld-sponsored classic.

Harlech has now won two of his five starts and was bought out of breeder The Oaks Stud’s draft at Karaka for NZ$100,000 by the trainer’s brother Paul.

He is a son of the Bachelor Duke (USA) mare Obsession (NZ), who was a talented mare and won the G2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ S. and collected a pair of Group 1 placings.

“It just gives you so much confidence having the horses that Mike and Paul pick out, he’s a stunner to look at,” Gerard said. “I’m so lucky to have them behind me and I can’t thank them enough.”

Harlech opened his Guineas campaign with a hollow maiden success on his home track before he was beaten by a wide margin by Travelling Light (NZ) (El Roca), the unbeaten filly who is the pre-post favourite for the G1 gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas.

“He had good form coming into this and the track was heavy last time, he needs a good track,” Gerard said.

“He’s been promising all the way through and he’ll lap up a mile. He’s done nothing wrong and is a colt that’s getting better and better.”

Harlech was ridden by Michael McNab, who sported the Fletcher tartan silks made most famous by the former superstar sprinter Mr Tiz (Bletchingly), and he had the colt in a handy enough position nearing the home bend.

They hit the front 150 metres from home and it was all plain sailing from there with Harlech having 1.5l to spare on the post.

“He jumped well and settled and he savaged the line. I put pressure on him early to hold his spot and he just switched off,” McNab said.

Run To Perfection (Sepoy) got home from the back to finish runner-up ahead of the filly Bella Mente (El Roca). The favourite Equinox (Exceed And Excel) settled in the trail, but dropped away to finish seventh.

-Written by Paul Vettise, TDN


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