Quality galloper Avantage showed she is the horse to beat in the upcoming Hawke’s Bay triple crown when she produced a strong fresh-up effort to take out the Gr.2 Valachi Downs Foxbridge Pate (1200m) at Te Rapa.
The Fastnet Rock mare had closed out her four-year-old campaign with three Group One victories in the space of four starts and looked primed to resume her spring campaign with an eye-catching trial win at Taupo last month.
Trainer Jamie Richards was confident he had the horse to beat in a race that oozed class and so it proved as she was too tough for her rivals in the run home after enjoying a cosy run in transit for rider Danielle Johnson.
Taranaki visitor Tavi Mac went the race of his life as he battled with Avantage over the closing stages but was a length in arrears at the post with another Te Akau runner in Prise De Fer holding on for third a nose to the good of the fast finishing Demonetization.
“It always mapped like she was going to get a good run from the barrier and so it played out,” trainer Jamie Richards said.
“Danielle was able to sneak her up on the inside of Julius on the home corner and once she was clear she found a good kick.
“In saying that, the second horse took some running down and she was probably on empty the last 50m, but she is a really good mare who is a real winner.”
Richards and the Te Akau team have their sights on the Hawke’s Bay triple crown for Avantage with the first leg, the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) on September 19 her next assignment.
“The plan is to go to Hastings in a fortnight for the Tarzino,” he said.
“She should take good benefit out of today’s run and the two weeks between races will be ideal.”
Raced by the Te Akau Avantage syndicate, Avantage was a $210,000 purchase by David Ellis CNZM from The Oaks Stud 2017 Premier Yearling sale draft. She has now won eleven of her 18 starts and over $1.47m in prizemoney.
- NZ Racing Desk