Riccarton visitor Air Max upset some well-fancied rivals when he flashed home late to capture the Listed Liquorland Gore Guineas (1335m) on Saturday.
Trainer Lance Robinson ventured south with stablemates Khimar War and Air Max for the feature event on the Gore card although it was Khimar War who punters expected to provide the main challenge to race favourite Weaponry.
Allowed to start at $28 on the tote, Air Max overcame a tardy beginning and some buffeting in the home straight to dash past fellow outsider Dreamtesta and North Island raider Weaponry to claim his maiden victory at just his fifth start.
Robinson had been expecting a good run from the son of Little Avondale Stud-based stallion Nadeem despite some concerns about the Gore track which had been downgraded to a Slow8 after persistent rain.
“We’ve always liked him and set him for this race after his last run at Dunedin,” he said.
“I was a bit worried about the track as he doesn’t normally cop this sort of ground.
“That’s why he ran sort of ran around a bit, so it was a good effort.
“When he got so far back, I was really worried as I hadn’t expected to see him way back there.
“He’s a half-brother to Boots ‘N’ All so he’s going to be alright.”
Robinson will be hoping that Air Max can emulate the deeds of his older half-brother Boots ‘N’ All who has won nine races, including two at stakes level, with over $248,000 in career earnings.
The victory by Air Max capped off a wonderful day for Little Avondale Stud who captured a winning double at stakes level for their resident stallions after Per Incanto gelding Shadows Cast scored in the Gr.1 Harcourts Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham.
A half-brother by Super Easy to Air Max and Boots ‘N’ All will be offered at the Book 2 session of the forthcoming New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales, catalogued as Lot 937 through the draft of Long Acres Stud. – NZ Racing Desk