Walk Away gets the job done in dominant fashion at Matamata. Kenton Wright www.raceimages.co.nz
On the back of his fresh-up win in a competitive race at Hastings on the middle day of their carnival, Walk Away (4 B. G. Van Nistelrooy – Super Sound, by Sound Reason) stamped himself as a staying horse of the future with an impressive win at Matamata on Saturday in the Rating 80 Comag Limited mile.
Having taken considerable improvement in the interim, the lanky galloper trained locally by Karen Fursdon and Gemma Sliz was doing pace work when Chad Ormsby worked him off the trail to level mid-straight before he put the race beyond doubt, going on to win comfortably by one-and-three-quarter lengths.
Another recent Hastings winner Shanamagh (Monolith) pressed on solidly for second, while Coolross (Rossini) held third after racing in front.
On a track downgraded from Dead6 to Slow7 following race one, Walk Away covered the 1600m on 1:38.27, returning $6.10 & $1.80 on the tote.
“He’s stronger and bigger this time in, he’s come up really well”, said Sliz. “He one of the best horses in our stable. We had high hopes for him last season and tried to get him ready for the Derby, but things didn’t quite pan out.”
Walk Away had displayed the right attributes on the track, and pedigree, to loom into Derby calculations as a three-year-old last season, only to be ruled out with minor shin soreness and a few maturity issues.
“We really think a lot of him, and today for him to win like that was pretty impressive”, she said.
“He’s a mile and a half horse, he’s got it written all over him and we may aim him towards the Counties Cup.”
The $85,000, Group II, Counties Cup (2100m) is on November 20 at Pukekohe.
Rider Chad Ormsby said his confidence levels at the 800m were “not that good”.
“He raced like a stayer and got well off the bridle and felt like he had nothing. At the 600m I gave him a slap, the horse picked it up by himself when he knew it was time to do the business and he did it on his own accord”, Ormsby said. “He’s a better horse with something to chase, so keep an eye on him.”
Owned by Mrs L & R F Hodge & P A, Walk Away was bought very economically for $35,000 at the 2008 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale from the draft of Trelawney Stud, who prepared the horse for his breeder, Joan Egan.
His grand-dam, Lyn’s Orchid (Oncidium), produced Ultra Sound to finish third in the 1987 One Thousand Guineas in a career of fifteen wins, who in turn left the 1994-95 One Thousand Guineas, and New Zealand Oaks winner Tartan Tights (Tigths).