A feature day of racing on the Pukekohe calendar, Counties Cup day, provided a string of pin-up performances, including the Group 2 DHL Counties Cup (2100m).
Attracting a strong field of 12 runners, the race looked an even contest on paper with the top weight Tinseltown (Pentire x Tinsel) the early $3.60 favourite, and the money was smack on as he saluted the judge in the Group 2 feature.
Ridden by Craig Grylls, Tinseltown settled well in mid-field for the running. Coming into the home straight, leader Alkadaz took a two length break on the point of the turn but as the wall of horses loomed up at the 300 metre mark, Tinseltown showed a strong turn of foot to run away to a one-and-a-half length win.
The Zabeel gelding Six O'Clock News (ex Maurine) ran into second place, completing the quinella for Karaka graduates, with He's Heroic (Zerpour x She's Heroic) running into third place.
Saturday's Group 2 win capped off a highly successful few weeks for the new training partnership of Michael Moroney and Andrew Clarken as they also won the Group 2 Coupland's Bakery Mile with Altered Image (Strategic Image).
Tinseltown was bought by Paul Moroney Bloodstock from the 2005 Karaka Premier Yearling Sale for $70,000 from Martindale Stud. His win on Saturday was his eighth from 40 race day starts. He has also notched up five seconds and two thirds for over $470,000 in stakes earnings.
His sire, Rich Hill stud's Pentire, will be looking for his second Group 1 Auckland Cup win as Tinseltown holds a nomination for New Zealand's richest 3200 metre race. Pentire's son Pentane won the Auckland Cup in 2008. Tinseltown also holds nominations for the Group 2 City of Auckland Cup (2400) and the Group 2 Wellington Cup (2400m).
Second placed Six O'Clock News also holds nominations for the Group 2 Wellington Cup (2400m) and the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m).
A full brother to Tinseltown has been nominated for the 2011 Karaka National Yearling Sale Series.
New Zealand Bloodstock's Karaka 2011 Yearling Sales commence on January 31 and run to February 7 with catalogues available from November 26. For more sales information, visit www.nzb.co.nz.