Penteverest could be set on a path towards the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) in March after impressing his connections with his victory in the Dunstan Feeds 1500 Championship Qualifier (1600m) at Ellerslie on Sunday.
The three-year-old son of Pentire made it two wins in succession, with his only other run this season resulting in a runner-up performance at Te Aroha when fresh-up for the stable.
“It was a nice effort, he’s a progressive horse and has kept improving as he’s gone along. We put a hood on him, which really improved him,” said Ken Kelso, who trains in partnership with his wife Bev and Mark Donoghue.
Kelso has had the Chestnut gelding in his stable from the start of this season and believes he is improving with time.
“Graeme Sanders had him early on as a two-year-old and ran him first-up in the two-year-old slipper at Matamata.
“He was still a colt then, I got him as an early three-year-old and he was gelded by then and he was always going to take time and he was probably a bit shin-sore early on.
“He didn’t show us a lot, but he’s kept improving as he’s gone along.”
Penteverest’s next assignment will be at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day, where he will line-up in the Gr.2 Jamieson Park Auckland Guineas (1600m) before a possible tilt at loftier targets.
“We will give him another run at a mile. “At this stage we’ll look to run him on January 1 in the Guineas race.
“We will then look to get him over ground and we definitely have the Derby in our sights, if he keeps progressing that is where we will be heading.”
It was a great day at Ellerslie on Sunday for Sir Peter Vela, who shares in the ownership of Penteverest with Hall of Fame trainer Laurie Laxon.
“Sir Peter was there on Sunday and book-ended the programme (with the Stephen Marsh-trained Balios winning the opening race), so he was thrilled,” Kelso said. – NZ Racing Desk