A daring front-running ride by apprentice Chelsea Burdan paved the way for local runner Sergeant Blast (NZ) (Darci Brahma) to score in the Steelform Roofing Group Waverley Cup (2200m) on Sunday.
Burdan made good use of her three-kilogram claim as she went pedal to the metal in front on the Darci Brahma seven-year-old and made her rivals chase hard throughout.
Despite appearing out on his feet at the 150m mark, Sergeant Blast held tough to keep veteran stayer Nitro Ted (NZ) (Citi Habit) at bay by half-a-length with race favourite Beyond The Fort (NZ) (Niagara) making up good ground from last to finish third.
Trainer Sam Lennox, who shares in the ownership of Sergeant Blast, revealed it had been a pre-race plan to make the field work hard to catch his charge who enjoyed the benefit of a 51kg featherweight on his back.
“It was the plan from nominations to lead,” Lennox said.
“When we ended up with the 51kgs it was the only option but I must admit I wasn’t happy when we were going down the back (straight) as I thought we had gone way too big.
“It’s just a massive thrill to win the Cup.
“He really deserved this as he hasn’t had a lot of things go his way.
“We’ve always thought about getting him up over ground and today everything lined up.
“You never know but he could be a handy little stayer.”
Purchased by Lennox for $20,000 from the Haunui Farm draft during the 2014 Select Sale session at Karaka, Sergeant Blast has now won seven of his 30 starts for owners Cam and Chas Stewart, Wayne Crowley, Lennox and his brother Guy.
-NZ Racing Desk