Hoofit (white blaze) challenges Sweet Suitor, on his inner. Gold Card (black cap) was third and Red Horizon (white & blue) fourth. Kenton Wright www.raceimages.co.nz
Tough and genuine qualities, for those fortunate to have them, are never out of place in a thoroughbred, and Hoofit (3 B. C. Mossman – Chuckle, by Danehill) was required to call on his supply to win the $45,000, Listed, Geon Bonecrusher Stakes over 1400-metres at Ellerslie on Saturday.
Keen to get on with the job at only his second start following a 147-day spell, Hoofit made his run wide of centre track in the straight, and under the urgings of Matthew Cameron he collared Sweet Suitor (Bachelor Duke) on the line.
The pair had previously met in the Bayer 2YO at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, for the same result by a half-length margin on good footing.
The courage of the two was borne out when confronted on this occasion with sticky, Heavy11 footing, the 1400m completed in 1:32.43.
Gold Card (Gold Centre) surged late to finish a head away in third, while Red Horizon (Spartacus) was fourth.
Of the $60,000 purchase by Beamish Bloodstock at the 2009 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale, from the draft of Shelby Park, trainer Stephen McKee said, “He’s always shown a bit. A big, strong horse that got better with racing last season and it was a tough run today after being four and five wide the whole way. He should go on to make a nice horse.”
While McKee had some reservations regarding the heavy ground leading into the race, he considered the strength of his charge would stand by him.
“I was a little bit unsure about him on the footing to be fair, as he hadn’t raced in it, but he’s a strong bugger and you’d expect him to plough his way through”, said McKee.
“He was a bit fresh out the back (parade ring), but it was only his second run back, he’s got a long way to go, he’s got Wellington and Riccarton to come yet”, said McKee.
The $85,000, Group II, Wellington Thoroughbred Breeders Guineas (1500m) is held at Trentham in Wellington on October 23, while the $1million, Group I, New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) is held at Riccarton in Christchurch on November 13.
Owned by Sir Patrick Hogan, Alistair Sutherland, Tony Timpson & Peter Walker, Hoofit finished sixth and fourth respectively in the group one Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie, and group one Sires Produce Stakes at Awapuni, as a two-year-old, while he showed he could cop a mile when finishing second to Lion Tamer (Storming Home) in the Listed Champagne Stakes at Ellerslie.
Trained by Gai Waterhouse, his dam, Chuckle, recorded both victories on good footing, yet also placed in two of her three attempts on slow going. David Hayes trained his grand-dam Clowning (Rory’s Jester) to win one of her six starts.