Group Two Guineas Winner for Niagara

Media Release - Tuesday February 6
Graeme Richardson went to Te Rapa looking for an answer from Xbox and the talented three-year-old gave him an emphatic reply.

Xbox - Trish DunnellThe Matamata horseman, who trains in partnership with Gavin Parker, sent the son of Niagara beyond a mile for the first time in Tuesday's Gr.2 Warren Storm Lifebrokers Waikato Guineas (2000m).

Xbox's tenacious victory at the expense of Mongolianconqueror earned him a $10 quote for next month's Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie.

"That was awesome, it gave me a big thrill," Richardson said. "He's a good horse and he deserved it. 

He worked up really well and he is the type of horse that can switch off in his races, he relaxes."

Xbox raced close to the pace before he hit the front 250m from home and then held off the late charge of Mongolianconqueror for a narrow victory.

"He's still green and learning and he got to the front a bit too soon," Richardson said. "I thought the other one was going to roll him before my bloke fought back."

Bred and part-owned by racing photographer Trish Dunell, Xbox was partnered by Trudy Thornton who had also guided him to his previous win in an age group event at Ellerslie.

In winning the Guineas , Xbox becomes the first stakes-winner for royally bred Niagara, who comes from the family of champion Australian sire Redoutes' Choice.

"We got there a bit too easy and he's still green, but he's a very talented horse," Thornton said.

"I was never worried about him getting the trip. He relaxes really well, he's very exciting."

Time Lord and Rock On Wood both made good ground to finish third and fourth respectively. – NZ Racing Desk.

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