Kiwi Stakes-Winner for Declaration of War

Media Release - Saturday February 16

Matamata raider Weaponry made up for some bad luck at his last start when he stormed to victory in Saturday's Listed ILT Ascot Park Hotel Southland Guineas (1600m) at Invercargill.

Weaponry - Wild Range PhotographyThe Jamie Richards-trained visitor had looked unlucky not to finish closer than fourth in the Listed Dunedin Guineas (1500m) when failing to find racing room at a vital stage that day.

This time rider Dylan Turner took luck out of the equation when he bounced the Declaration Of War gelding out nicely from an outside barrier to sit just behind the speed before issuing his challenge on the point of the turn.

Weaponry and Upscale dashed to the front early in the run home before Dylan asked Weaponry for a final effort as he scooted clear to win handsomely from Upscale with race-favourite Air Max back in third.

Richards was delighted with the victory as Turner had followed his pre-race instructions to the letter.

"He (Weaponry) hasn't really had the run of the green in his last couple of runs," he said.

"He got caught behind horses at Gore two starts ago and then again at Wingatui last time.

"I spoke to Dylan before the race and basically told him not to be unlucky this time.

"He bounced out of the gate nicely and then when the pressure went on, he got him into the clear and in a spot where he could dictate from, so it was a very good ride."

Richards was undecided about future plans for Weaponry but believed he would be an even better type with some age on his side.

"There's not a lot left for him down south so he will probably come home now for a spell," he said.

"I think he has potential, but he will definitely be a better horse as a four-year-old.

"He can have a break now which will only be of benefit to him then we can decide where we go with him next."

Richards was also delighted with the performance of his two Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) contenders, In A Twinkling and Prise De Fer, after they finished second and fifth respectively in Saturday's Gr.2 Schweppes Avondale Guineas (2100m).

"In A Twinkling went huge, it was a massive run," he said.

"He had to do plenty of work in the run and really fought strongly in the straight, so it was a gutsy effort.

"Prise De Fer didn't get a lot of luck as he got held up on the fence at a vital stage, but he has made up good ground over the concluding stages.

"As long as they pull up well, they will both go to the Derby next." – NZ Racing Desk

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