Golden Sword (NZ) (Swiss Ace) produced his usual fast-closing sectionals to get up in the shadows of the post on Friday night.
The older full brother of Nova Swiss (NZ) returned with a sensational win after a year’s absence in his customary style – storming home from the ruck – on November 26.
It remained to be seen if the chestnut five-year-old could reproduce that sizzler in the $80,000 Class 3 Division 1 race over 1200m second-up, especially with the much louder boom on recently-minted juvenile champion Be Bee (NZ) (Showcasing).
Shane Baertschiger’s son of Showcasing gave the fans who sent him out as the even-money favourite plenty to cheer about when he ambled to the front upon straightening, but a few lengths astern, Augustano (Hard Spun) and Golden Sword were making quick inroads.
Augustano, who used to be Golden Sword’s stablemate at Cliff Brown’s yard and is now under Lee Freedman’s care, overpowered Be Bee rather easily at the 200m mark but Golden Sword was not out of it as he kept motoring home on the outside.
The two horses lunged at the line with Golden Sword narrowly gaining the verdict by a nose from Augustano. Be Bee had to settle for third place another two lengths away. The winning time was 1min 11.75secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.
With Brown at the Gold Coast to attend the Magic Millions yearling sale, assistant-trainer Tim Fitzsimmons was on hand to lead in the yard’s first winner for the new season.
“He’s a really good horse, he’s a full brother to Nova Swiss and we have a half-sister in quarantine,” said the Australian horseman.
“I was a bit worried he drifted too far back around the home turn, but Michael rode him to perfection.
“He’s had his issues, like he bled and had a knee surgery, but he’s back on top of his game now.
“We will just poke around with him and I think we should give him good space in between his runs.”
Rodd, who sat out last Sunday’s meeting after calling in sick, was delighted he had not taken long to bounce back to the winner’s circle.
“The race was nicely set up for him. They went along a bit in front, and that is what he needs,” he said.
“We were on the back of Augustano. He does not sustain a long burst and that’s why I had to hold him up a bit.
“I’ve ridden Augustano before and I know what a fighter he is when he has his head in front, but my horse kept grinding away and got the bob in.
“It’s a great result for the yard and hopefully Cliff can get a few good buys at the Gold Coast. We need the firepower.”
With that fifth win from 13 starts, Golden Sword has now amassed more than $210,000 in stakes earnings for the Gold Stable. -STC