Sunday, February 24, 2008

Alamosa shows no respect for his elders

Star three-year-old colt Alamosa (3 B. C. O’Reilly – Lodore Mystic) again beat the older horses at Group 1 level, when winning the Group I $200,000 First Sovereign Trust Otaki-Maori Weight-For-Age (1600m) at Otaki on Friday.
Not only did he win, but he smashed the track record in the process, by running 1:32.69 for 1600 metres, almost three quarters of a second better than the previous record.
Formerly known as the Terrace Regency Handicap, the race had been won by some outstanding weight-for-age horses of bygone years, including King’s Chapel, Zvezda, Hero, Surface, Poetic Prince, Centre Crest and Javelin, and the performance of this year’s victor should sit firmly above the mantel, especially given the devastating time he ran.
Clearly New Zealand’s best sprinter/miler three-year-old, Alamosa had done what very few of his age are able to achieve when winning a Group 1 open handicap race, in the Thorndon Mile at Trentham racecourse in Wellington at his previous start on January 26, and to repeat the dose under weight-for-age conditions is true testament to the sensational all-round attributes he possesses.
Having only ever been aboard Alamosa when successful in a trial, Premiership leading jockey Michael Walker was able to get a taste of the sensation experienced on race-day by colleagues Gavin McKeon and Paul Taylor, who had ridden the colt in his two prior Group 1 wins.
Alamosa secured a position fourth on the outer as the winner of the corresponding event last year, Sir Slick (Volksraad), set a frenetic pace in front. He set-sail for home with a handy advantage, while Alamosa was looking for room and giving the million dollar earner three lengths with 400 metres to run, but he found clear air two off the fence inside the final 250 metres and boomed to the lead near the line with his trademark acceleration in full-flight.
Beaten by half a length, Sir Slick was game in defeat, while another son of Volksraad, Fiscal Madness, ran a very creditable third, a further half a length away.
There was a gap of one and a half lengths to fourth placed O’Reilly Rose (O’Reilly) who produced a meritorious performance at her first attempt at a Group 1 race.
But all honours rested with the winner Alamosa, who can look forward to embellishing his already first-class record when he contests the Group 1 First Sovereign Trust New Zealand Stakes over 2000 metres at weight-for-age at Ellerslie on March 8.
Alamosa has now won nine of his seventeen starts, three of those at Group 1 level, for stakes exceeding $720,000.
Matamata based trainer Peter McKay continues to receive top accolades for his preparation and placement of Alamosa, and also does a fine job as part-owner with his wife Kim, and Christchurch businessman Trevor Luke.v

The Big G

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