Free-goer The Bandito delivered an all-the-way victory when he upset predictions in Saturday’s Listed Bramco Granite & Marble Flying Handicap (1400m) at Awapuni.
Allowed to set the terms throughout over the 1400m journey, the Pins seven-year-old travelled sweetly for rider Samantha Collett. Collett had The Bandito humming with a full head of steam at the 200m mark and despite being challenged hard by a wall of runners in the final few strides, he clung tenaciously to the lead to hit the line a head in front of Beefeater with Magnum close up in third.
“He was (defiant) wasn’t he,” trainer John Bary said.
“He gets in that mood and you have to ride him that way.
“It was a 12 out of 10 ride by Sam Collett as she didn’t hustle him, just let him slide to the front and dictate terms with the light weight.”
Bary was pleased to get the win after his charge had proven his consistency throughout his current campaign.
“He’s been good all season, strong and tough” he said.
“I think he ran 1.22 when he won down at Wellington (January 12) so we know he can do it.
“He’s had a long season so he can go to the spelling paddock now.”
Bary was also pleased with the performance of two-year-old The Fugitive in the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1200m) one race earlier despite the Wanted gelding finishing near the rear of the field.
“I was thrilled,” Bary said.
“He went back (from a wide draw) and he (rider Chris Johnson) said he just blew out. He was only three and half lengths off them so you can follow him next year as he will be running in the big ones.”
The victory by The Bandito continued the fantastic run of former Waikato Stud sire Pins, who passed away last year, with The Bandito becoming his ninth individual stakes winner this season. – NZ Racing Desk