Pride of Dubai Star Desert Lightning Chasing Another G1

Media Release - Friday February 23

Waikato hoop Vinnie Colgan will trek down to Otaki on Saturday to partner exciting four-year-old Desert Lightning in the Gr.1 Trackside Otaki-Maori WFA Classic (1600m), and he is hoping his charge can live up to his favourite’s tag.

Desert Lightning will contest the Gr.1 Trackside Otaki-Maori WFA Classic (1600m) on Saturday.   Photo: Race Images

The Peter and Dawn Williams-trained gelding has been a standout this season, winning all but one of his four starts, including the Gr.1 TAB Classic (1600m) at Trentham in December and the inaugural $1 million Aotearoa Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie last month.


TAB bookmakers have the Pride Of Dubai gelding as a $2.50 fixed-odds favourite, with last start Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) victor Puntura on the second line of betting at $5.

Colgan has been aboard Desert Lightning in all four starts this season and has been impressed with the way he has developed since his three-year-old term where he posted a solid record of a win and four placings from nine starts, including victory in the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and placings in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m), Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), and Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m).

“He was a nice three-year-old and still ran well in the bigger races last season, but this year he is just a different horse. He is so much stronger and his manners (are a lot better),” Colgan told TAB NZ.

Colgan rode Desert Lightning in an exhibition gallop at Ellerslie last Saturday and is pleased with the gelding ahead of his Group One assignment.

“He had a really nice gallop at Ellerslie on the weekend and galloped brilliant. I am really looking forward to this weekend,” he said.

“As long as there is a bit of speed in the race, that will help him out a bit. He is definitely the horse to beat.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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