New Zealand colt Xtravagant is back in contention for the Australian Guineas following his Group One win in the Waikato Sprint.
The favourite for next month’s Guineas until his defeat in the Levin Classic on a soft track, Xtravagant had drifted to $11.
But his eight-length demolition of his older rivals in Saturday’s 1400m-race at Te Rapa has caused a market readjustment and he is now $6 behind $5 favourites Mahuta and Palentino.
Connections made the decision to stick to the fence on Saturday, a move that gave Xtravagant the opportunity to kick away from his rivals as their jockeys steered wide.
“We made a plan before the race,” co-trainer Stephen Autridge told nzracing.co.nz.
“There was a strip along the fence that was perfect and the horse showed his class.
“We saved the ground and now it’s the Australian Guineas – bring it on.”
Jockey Matt Cameron said he was thrilled the colt had returned to his best.
“It’s so exciting to see this horse back,” he said.
“We knew what we had. His turn of foot is blistering and he could race over 1000 metres at Flemington and do the same thing.
“He’s amazing for New Zealand racing.”
Xtravagant, who is raced by Te Akau Racing, has now won five of his eight starts including last year’s NZ 2000 Guineas at his only run over the 1600 metres of the Australian Guineas at Flemington.