Frontrunner pulls rank at Pukekohe
Admiral had to cover more ground at Pukekohe on Saturday than originally intended to bounce back to winning form.
The free-going six-year-old was forced to go the extra mile in the Mount Shop 1600m after Stephen Ralph’s target race was scrubbed out.
"We were in the open 1400m before they canned it so we were in this by default,” the Te Awamutu trainer said.
The form book suggested Admiral would be hard to beat off the back of his lead-up effort, a close sixth in the Listed Opunake Cup behind Longchamp and subsequent Gr.3 Winter Cup winner Nashville.
"That run stacked up really well,” Ralph said. "He was taken on in front after he was ridden aggressively to lead and he held on quite well, it was full of merit.
"He was in the Winter Cup, but we pulled him out to chase these $30,000 races up here instead.”
Admiral jumped well to be a clear leader for apprentice Hairi Marzuki at Pukekohe and, by design, he left the fence for better ground with 400 metres to run.
"That was ideal and he rated him perfectly,” Ralph said. "I asked Hairi to come off the rail on the turn.”
Admiral skipped clear and he safely held the well-supported Bowie to win by a length and three-quarters.
"He likes to lead and I was able to give him a breather and at the top of the straight he just took off,” Marzuki said.
Admiral will now be set for the defence of his Listed Haunui Farm Karaka Classic title at Pukekohe Park on September 24 at the NZ Spinal Trust Charity Raceday.
– NZ Racing Desk.