More Wonder on top at Awapuni

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23 Dec 2018

Talented three-year-old More Wonder backed up some good form of late when he accounted for his age group rivals over 1400m at Awapuni on Saturday.

The Team Rogerson-trained galloper had enjoyed a profitable campaign during New Zealand Cup and Show week, where he won impressively on the middle day after finishing a meritorious fifth in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) just five days earlier.

Having his first run since that Riccarton victory, More Wonder proved too good in the concluding stages under rider Johnathan Parkes after taking control of the race with 800m to run.

The victory was the first of a winning treble on the day for Parkes who also picked up the Gr.2 Kamada Park Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) on local galloper Shadows Cast.

“He didn’t begin that well, so I was just going to work into the race from where he was,” Parkes said of More Wonder.

“He wanted to get going a little bit hard so I thought better let him slide forward. Once he got there (the lead) he travelled up nicely and was simply too good.

“He’s had a freshen up since Riccarton so that’s maybe why he wanted to over-race a little bit early on.

“I think he’s a very serious three-year-old, so it’s onwards and upwards for him.”

Stable representative Michelle Northcott was pleased with the effort although somewhat philosophical about her charge’s wayward tendencies.

“He was pretty impressive, although he did a little bit wrong,” she said.

“He over-raced a bit and still got the job done.”

The disappointment in the race was hot favourite Xpression who was at cramped odds for her first run since finishing third in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton last month.

The Showcasing filly loomed as a threat early in the home straight but just battled in the final stages with rider Sam Collett reporting she had not been suited by the sit and sprint nature of the race. – NZ Racing Desk

Photo by Race Images – Peter Rubery