El Luchador and Major Tom were open handicap winners at opposite ends of the North Island on Saturday, but they are destined to meet in the middle next time out.
They have both being set for the Taumarunui Cup (2200m) at Rotorua on July 28 by their respective connections.
El Luchador has been a revelation this campaign with a victory in the Kiwifruit Cup (2100m) preceding his success in testing ground at Trentham in the Blue Star Parliamentary (2200m).
“That will stave off a hurdle start for a while, he’s won a couple of hurdle trials,” trainer Mark Brooks said. “He’ll got to the Taumarunui Cup next.”
El Luchador sat on the leader’s quarters before he went to the front 600m out rider Michael Coleman stayed closer to the fence into the straight.
“It was always going to be a test in those conditions and Michael stuck to the inside and that was probably the best place to be,” Brooks said.
El Luchador won by five and a-quarter lengths from Trisha Lea, who edged Dr Watson out of second by a short head.
Major Tom’s winning margin at Ruakaka in the ITM/GIB Whangarei Gold Cup (2100m) was only a short neck, but he wasn’t overly punished by rider Chris Johnson to hold off Jake The Muss.
Trainers Kenny and Lisa Rae also have eyes for the Taumarunui Cup and their progressive son of Red Giant will be at the top of his game for the Rotorua feature with three consecutive wins to his credit. – NZ Racing Desk.