By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ New Desk
Trainers Bruce Wallace and Grant Cooksley will head to the TAB Karaka Millions 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie in a fortnight with a bit more confidence with their juvenile So Naive following his win in the Stella Artois 1200 at the Auckland track on Sunday.
The son of U S Navy Flag settled midfield and relaxed nicely for jockey Michale McNab, while race favourite Maracatu went head-to-head with pacemaker Hard Attack up front. The pair continued their dogfight down the straight and looked to have the race won until McNab pressed the go button on his colt at the 200m and So Naive was able to reel in his foes and post a three-quarter length victory over Maracatu.
It was So Naive’s second win from three starts, having won on debut at Pukekohe in October before returning to the South Auckland venue on Boxing Day where he finished fourth in the Gr.2 Eclipse Stakes (1200m).
McNab was pleased with the win and expects to see improvement from the colt out of Sunday’s meeting.
“He has still got heaps to learn and was doing a lot wrong, but he was solid late. He was better than he was last time. I rode him a little bit different, and he is probably a little bit fitter too,” McNab said.
“He has got to be a chance (in the Karaka Million). He has won at the track and he is a nice, strong horse and he will handle the couple of weeks into it. If he can improve like he has from Boxing Day to today, he has got to be a runners chance.”
Co-trainer Grant Cooksley also expects to present a more finely tuned horse at Ellerslie in a fortnight.
“He has improved a lot from his last run,” he said. “He is a nice and relaxed horse. He is not a bad horse and in a couple of weeks he will be a bit fitter.”
Bred by the late Dr K C Tan, So Naive was consigned by Curraghmore via their 2022 May gavelhouse.com draft. He was then purchased out of Kilgravin Lodge’s 2023 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 2 Yearling Sale draft by Wallace Thoroughbreds for $37,500. – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk