Rugged stayer Sergeant Blast (Darci Brahma) gave a polished front-running display when he led all the way to take out the first black type feature on Saturday, the Listed Lincoln Farms New Zealand St Leger (2600m) at Trentham.
Initially viewed mainly as a sprinter/miler type by his trainer and co-owner Sam Lennox, the seven-year-old has proved a revelation when stepped up over more ground in the last twelve months, winning the Waverley Cup over 2200m on his home patch along with his lead up run at Trentham over the same distance last week.
Rated to perfection by rider Lisa Allpress, Sergeant Blast set up a moderate tempo before turning up the heat at the 600m. Allpress stole a march on her rivals turning for home and despite a resolute effort to run him down from Matamata visitor Te Akau Caliburn, Sergeant Blast held on strongly to score by a long neck with 2019 winner Sampson a margin away in third.
“We might have had it wrong for a few years,” Lennox said.
“I might have to apologise to the other owners as he could have been a wasted stayer.
“That is the way he works at home, where he wants to do one more round than you ask him so I did have a feeling that the further he goes the better and today has proved it.
“We set this as the target after he won at New Plymouth over 1800m and with the race last week it has worked out perfectly.”
Lennox was feeling a little emotional after the win with the horse having become a real stable favourite.
“You get attached to these animals as you virtually live with them,” he said.
“He’s a seven-year-old now who has won nine races and he is a part of the family.
“To see him do this on a big day is a massive thrill and is what we get out of bed for and I’m so proud for the little horse.”
Lennox was mindful of the rating penalty his charge would receive when planning for his future and would let the dust settle before making any further decisions on his next assignment.
Purchased by Lennox for $20,000 from the Haunui Farm draft during the 2014 Select Yearling Sale at Karaka, Sergeant Blast has now won nine of his 36 career starts and has topped the $200,000 mark in prizemoney earnings.
NZ Racing Desk