Talented three-year-old Air Max doubled his winning tally at stakes level when he burst between runners to claim a comfortable victory in the Listed Mediaworks Dunedin Guineas (1500m) at Wingatui.
The Nadeem gelding had broken his maiden status when successful in the Listed Gore Guineas (1335m) on a Slow8 surface last month in stunning fashion when producing a slashing finish to power over the top of his age-group rivals.
Trainer Lance Robinson had been pleased with how his charge had improved since his Gore victory as he weighed up his chances before the race.
“He has come on since that race,” he said.
“He got back the other day, only because he got checked early in the race, but with a good draw I can’t see why he can’t get a good run behind the speed and then find the line.”
Robinson could hardly have written a better script as the race panned out virtually as he described it.
Given a good run in mid-field by rider Terry Moseley, Air Max lobbed along nicely before moving into contention with 600m to run. Things started to get a bit dicey early in the run home, with a wall of horses in front of him, however once Moseley angled his charge into the clear Air Max hit top-gear in a few big bounds as he dashed clear to defeat Upscale with Highly Unlikely in third.
“I’m just so pleased to see him do that as I’ve always said he’s better on top of the ground,” Robinson said.
“My only concern was when I saw him start to get hemmed in approaching the straight.
“Terry said to me afterwards that he was getting into trouble from as far out as the 900m mark but when he got him into the clear he just went whoosh.”
Robinson will now let the dust settle on the performance before making any further plans for his charge. He will take a similar approach with stablemate Khimar War who found himself in trouble in running for the second consecutive start before finishing off well in behind the place-getters. – NZ Racing Desk