New Zealand's 2012 Champion 2YO Warhorse took the first win of his three-year-old campaign at Ellerslie on Saturday in the $50,000 Listed Manuka Doctor Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m).
Warhorse (General Nediym x Rathlin Island) won the Champion 2YO Award after his wins in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes and Group 1 Diamond Stakes last season, and resumed with a good fourth fresh up in the Listed Wanganui Guineas on a heavy 10 track.
The colt was a short priced $2 favourite for Saturday's Bonecrusher Stakes and the Jason Bridgman trained three-year-old didn't disappoint punters as he overcame a tough run, being boxed in in the straight and losing ground on the leaders, to fight back and take a late head victory.
"It was a very good effort," commented Jason Bridgman. "He had to be good to win as he was badly held up and it was pleasing to see him hit the line like he did."
"His work during the week had been very good and we knew he was getting close to his best form so we were confident he could win.
"He is a very versatile horse. He can handle slow right through to good footing but I think a dead surface is ideal for him; he likes to have a bit of fire out of the track.
The son of General Nediym holds nominations for both the Group 1 2000 Guineas (10 November) and Group 1 Levin Classic (30 November), both held over 1600 metres.
"We are aiming for the Group 1 2000 Guineas and that will be a good test for him to see if he can run the mile," said Bridgman. "I think against his own age group he has a good chance and with more racing he may be able to develop into a horse that is capable of running a top mile.
"We are planning to take him to the Wellington Guineas next up. The 1500 metres is a good progression from Saturday's 1400 metres to the mile of the Guineas."
Bred by Jonathan Hope, Warhorse was purchased by David Ellis from Trelawney Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2011 Karaka Premier Sale for $120,000. Raced by prominent Singapore owner Mr Tang Weng Fei, the colt has now won three of his eight starts for just under $300,000 in stakes.
A half-sister to Warhorse by Zabeel was purchased by Bruce Perry Bloodstock from Cambridge Stud at January's Karaka Premier Sale for $120,000.