Any niggling memories of Fly Like An Eagle’s Ashburton Flying Stakes debacle were quickly wiped away from the minds of his connections after he produced a dominant display in today’s $50,000 Alabar Kaikoura Cup at the stunning South Bay Racecourse.
In what was his first start off the unruly, Fly Like An Eagle made a brilliant beginning, and was never in any danger thereafter, racing away for a 2 & ½ length win over the concluding stages.
The Mach Three entire headed what was an Alabar sired trifecta with Phantom Grin (Grinfromeartoear) and Pass Them By (Grinfromeartoear) finishing in second and third.
Fly Like An Eagle, who is still racing in the interests of his All Stars syndicate, as well as the Muscara Family Trust, who bought him prior to the Ashburton Flying Stakes, paced the 2400m standing start journey in a very slick 2-58.3, finishing off with tidy sectionals of 55.7 & 26.9.
“He really does have unbelievable speed and the fact that he is now beginning so good from a standing start, ‘touch wood’, is a huge asset,” said his trainer-driver Mark Purdon
Purdon said that he has no qualms about the step-up in distance to 3200m that the New Zealand Cup will bring and that, while he does have huge respect for Terror To Love and Christen Me, he thinks Fly Like An Eagle can be competitive.
“Last year the 3200 metres found him out a bit but I do think he is a far stronger horse this time in, so I’m not too worried about it,” insisted Purdon.
“I’m not saying he will win it, but if he steps like he did today, he has to be at least a chance,” he added.
Fly Like An Eagle kicked off what was a $50,000 All Stars double with Arden Rooney also leading from go to woe in the following race – The PGG Wrightson Sales Series Aged Pace.
Meanwhile, northern raider Boizel set a new New Zealand trotting record for a 2400 metre standing start when winning the feature trot on the card in a very good time of 3-01.0.
Driven to perfection by Dexter Dunn, Boizel sat off the hot tempo, before dive-bombing Stent in the shadows of the post.
Oh, and in case you are an Aussie who is still wondering how Suave Stuey Lombo went, he, unfortunately for team Tritton & Panella, once again missed away before galloping again when going into the home straight bend a lap from home.
By Mitchell Robertson