Local Awapuni galloper Atenartin proved too good for his age group compatriots when he led all the way to take out the final black-type feature of the season, the Listed Courtesy Ford Ryder Stakes (1200m).
Handled superbly by apprentice Danielle Hirini, the Showcasing youngster bounced nicely from a mid-field barrier to take up the running. Allowed to stride clear approaching the home turn by Hirini, Atenartin quickly put a space between himself and the chasing pack. Steered to the middle of the track for better footing the gelding never looked like stopping as he charged away to defeat Cambridge visitor Mexican Tycoon who was bidding to give the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman stable their 21st stakes winner for the New Zealand season.
Race favourite Tutta La Classe gave her backers plenty of hope when she loomed as a likely prospect at the top of the straight but only battled in the closing stages to finish a well beaten third.
Successful when defeating race rivals Tutta La Classe and Notabadharada at outside odds on the track three weeks earlier, Atenartin lived up to trainer Matthew Eales’ expectations with his winning performance.
“I could see he was travelling quite well and I knew he could handle the track, so I was quite confident,” he said.
“I knew he had improved off his last run as he didn’t have the perfect prep, yet he was still a dominant winner.
“He had really improved in three weeks, so I thought that would count for a lot today.
“To get a black-type win on his home track is great for the owners.”
Bred by Rich Hill Thoroughbreds, Atenartin is from the unraced O’Reilly mare Fudge. He was a $7,000 purchase for Eales from the Rich Hill Stud draft during the Festival session of the 2017 National Yearling Sale at Karaka. – NZ Racing Desk