NEWS PREVIEW

In-form stable produces another smart 3YO

The Opaki horseman has the dual stakes winner Waldorf on a path toward the Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas and stablemate Athletica launched his classic bid in impressive style at Awapuni on Saturday.
Campbell rates the colt highly and it was easy to see why after he triumphed on debut in the Carrfields Livestock/CP Wool 3YO Maiden (1200m).
“He shouldn’t really be running over 1200 – he’s out of a Zabeel mare and he’s a late foal,” Campbell said. “We’ve always had a good opinion of him and looked after him.”
Athletica kept in touch with the pace in a small field and, once balanced on straightening, he finished determinedly to open his career in perfect style.
“He’s by Tavistock so he’s bred to get over more ground,” Campbell said. “It will be good to see him up to a mile. He’s nominated for the 2000 Guineas and that’s his aim.”
The stable later completed a winning double when Gobstopper distanced his rivals in the CR Grace Ltd/Marsh Insurance Brokers Handicap (2100m).
“I’ve always liked the horse and we’ll look toward the New Zealand Cup with him,” Campbell said of the brother to the multiple Group One winner Werther.
Athletica was a trial winner at Foxton last month in the hands of Johnathan Parkes, but his decision to ride at Ruakaka handed the mount at Awapuni to an appreciative Lisa Allpress.
“I saw him at the trials and watched the replays and he’s a very nice horse,” she said. “The ground is pretty testing and he kept going well.”
Pacemaker Satin Belt kicked strongly for second and the favourite Scott Base finished an unlucky third. The strapping son of Dalghar was pocketed on the turn and was unable to find clear air in the straight until too late.

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