New Zealand-trained horses have continued their early dominance of Sydney’s Group One autumn races with The Bostonian scoring a bulldog-like win in the Canterbury Stakes at Randwick.
The Kiwis have now won the first three elite races of the carnival after trainer Jamie Richards last week landed a Group One double with Te Akau Shark and Probabeel.
It was the Tony Pike-trained The Bostonian’s ($7.50) turn on Saturday, the two-time Group One winner stalking a strong speed and lifting late to overhaul Savatiano ($2.35 fav) and score by 1-1/4 lengths with Mister Sea Wolf ($31) another three lengths away.
The victory gave Nash Rawiller another milestone Group One and he believed The Bostonian could continue to be a Sydney autumn carnival force.
“I’ve been knocking on the door but this is my first Group One since I’ve been back from Hong Kong,” Rawiller said.
“It’s good timing to get the monkey off my back going into the autumn carnival.
“We had a beautiful run behind the one we felt was hardest to beat (Savatiano) and I was able to track it as long as I could after doing a bit of work early.
“To his credit he was really strong when he came out from behind them.”
Pike slated the George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill in two weeks as the next target for The Bostonian which would set up a clash with Te Akau Shark.
He says the early carnival results have been a shot in the arm for the Kiwis who are enjoying a resurgence after a couple of quiet seasons.
“It’s been a great couple of weeks for the Kiwis. Jamie had a super weekend last weekend which is great, two Group One wins in the same day and The Bostonian has come over and won,” Pike said.
“We haven’t had a lot of numbers over here yet but I think a fair few are coming over in the next few weeks after the Derby and the Oaks.”
The winner of the Doomben 10,000 last year, The Bostonian struggled to reproduce that form on firm tracks during the Melbourne spring but relished the soft ground in Saturday’s 1300-metre sprint at Randwick.
Three-year-old Standout travelled well in the run and Tommy Berry said the colt towed him into the race but when he came off the bridle he did not sprint as expected, finishing sixth.
Berry was unsure if the wet track simply dulled his brilliance and trainer Gerald Ryan was equally perplexed.
“A horse like him has never shortened up in his action like that,” Berry said.
Savatiano was brave in defeat at her first weight-for-age test while trainer James Cummings was left scratching his head over the disappointing performance of stablemate Alizee, who was a well-beaten fifth.