By Kevin Robertson, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk
Local galloper Bezique has booked a ticket south later in the spring with a decisive, front-running victory over 1400m on his home track at Ruakaka on Saturday.
The compact son of Rich Hill Stud stallion Ace High had impressed in breaking maidens at the venue last month and showed he had made good progress since then for trainers Ken Rae and his daughter Krystal Williams.
Taken straight to the front by rider Jasmine Fawcett, Bezique set up his own terms as stablemate Dancing Dream sat outside him on a steady tempo.
Fawcett asked him to extend rounding the home bend and he moved away nicely from his rivals to defeat another local in Charm Zafarm by just over a length with Dancing Dream battling on well for third.
Rae was quick to confirm Bezique would head to Riccarton next week with the ultimate aim of contesting the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at the venue on 11 November.
“This guy has shown real improvement of late so he will be on the truck with four others next week to head to Riccarton,” Rae said.
“We are taking him, Dancing Dream, a couple of two-year-olds and Leitrim Lad for Eamon Green (trainer).
“He’s definitely shown us enough to think he is a prospect for some of the good three-year-old races during the spring carnival down there.”
Beaten by 2000 Guineas TAB Fixed Odds co-favourite Crocetti on debut, Rae has been impressed by how his charge has matured since his first-up effort.
“He is a lovely horse to do anything with and since that first run he has thrived,” he said.
“You wouldn’t believe that they had to scratch him at the trials one day when he wouldn’t go into the gates as he has such a lovely nature and had never shown us anything like before or since that day.
“He was very good running fourth to Crocetti, so on that form he deserves a chance against the better ones over the next few months.
“He can have a look around Riccarton at the meeting there on the 30th of September and then we can work out what to do with him after that.”
Owned by local couple Mal Barratt and Tania Patterson, who also raced former stablemate Whiskey Lies with the Rae stable before his sale to Hong Kong, Bezique was purchased for $20,000 by Barratt from the Curraghmore draft during the Book 2 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale at Karaka last year.
TAB Bookmakers have tightened him into a $26 quote in the 2000 Guineas Fixed Odds market behind Crocetti ($4) and Tokyo Tycoon ($4) who currently sit as joint favourites. - LOVERACING.NZ News Desk