Curraghmore graduate Weaponry (Declaration of War) remained unbeaten when taking out the Seasons Greetings Rating 65 (1400m) at Ruakaka on Tuesday.
A debut winner on at Rotorua in November, Weaponry showed to have derived enormous benefit in the manner of his victory up in grade.
Partnered again by Opie Bosson Weaponry was given time to find his feet from barrier one, settling fifth on a genuine tempo. Looking to ease away from the rail at the 600m, when standing the leader seven lengths, he tracked into contention at the 300m and the four in front of him were unable to withstand his finishing burst.
“He won well at Rotorua, where he did a few things wrong and still won, but I was pleased to see Opie (Bosson) ride him a bit further back, got him to relax, and I thought he closed off really well,” trainer Jamie Richards said.
“He only just won, but that’s probably the best way to ride him: get there in the last couple of bounds because he can pull up if he gets there (front) too soon.
“You’re a fair animal if you can win a Maiden and go straight to Rating 65 and win again, and that could set him for some upcoming stakes races in the next month to six weeks.
Weaponry was purchased by David Ellis from the draft of Curraghmore for $140,000 at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale.
“It was another sensational ride by Opie (Bosson),” Ellis said. “He had to go sooner than he wanted to at Rotorua, but that’s the nature of the track, and today he held the horse up beautifully and timed his run to perfection. It was a majestic ride.
“Opie is so fit, doesn’t have any weight problems now and that makes him happy. He also really grows in confidence when he’s riding plenty of winners and his timing and decision making is first-class. Everyone benefits from it.
“We purchased Weaponry at the Karaka sales from Shelley Frost and the late Raewyn Ramage at Braided River Thoroughbreds, who have also supported us as breeders with horses to train. He’s yet another really promising horse that has been syndicated and managed by Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) who does such a sensational job and it’s just amazing the rapport she builds up with all our owners.
“We also bought a three-quarter sister to Weaponry at the New Zealand Bloodstock May Sale this year. A Savabeel filly out of a Volksraad daughter of Cat Shmea and she’s a two-year-old filly called Tam O’Shanter. Jamie had said to me that he liked the way Weaponry was progressing, he thought he had a good future, and we think the filly has plenty of potential as well.”
Sporting a Northern Dancer and Nijinsky cross, Weaponry is from the first crop of sire Declaration of War (War Front), Joint Champion Older Male in Europe, and triple Group One winning miler. Declaration of War made headlines as a racehorse with a very impressive win in the Queen Anne Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m) at Royal Ascot.
“Anyone who saw Declaration of War’s win at Ascot would have realised what a special horse he was for trainer Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle, and he went on to win one of the highest rated races in the world – the York International (Gr. 1, 2000m),” Ellis said. -Te Akau Racing