Felton Road returns a winner

By: Mark Nowell @MarkAnowell

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Felton Road started his three-year-old campaign with a stylish win, taking out the $25,000 Doug Hawkings 50th Birthday over 1100 metres at Te Rapa on Saturday.

Felton Road ($3.10) and rider Leith Innes sat at the back of the field of six, biding their time for gap to appear one off the fence. When it did present itself in the inside the final 150 metres, the son of Pins bulldozed his way through to beat Ohceedee (A.Collett) by a long neck, with Socially Excited (M.Cameron) half a length back in third.

“The horse is going great, but he didn’t really enjoy the track,” Innes said.

“I was surprised how well he sprinted, it’s pretty heavy out there.”

Felton Road’s winning time was 1:07.76 (last 600m in 35.82) on a Slow9 track.

Trainer Tony Pike has utilized the Waikato Racing Club’s trials track, regularly using it for track-work and jump-outs for his stable including Felton Road.

“That was a good effort, just what we wanted to see,” Pike said.

“I thought it was going to get a bit ugly halfway up the straight, but Leith knew what he was doing.”

“That gets him back on track anyway. He’ll now go to Ruakaka for the Listed Tavistock Northland Breeders’ Stakes on September 16, then all going to plan the Hawke’s Bay Guineas.”

“As long as his form continues we’ll be looking at Riccarton for the Group One Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas,” Pike said.

Felton Road posted his third win from five starts has earned over $110,000 in prizemoney for owners R Bell, S Doull, T Gillespie, N Greenhaigh, R Mulcaster, E Smythe, P Talyancich, Platinum Events, Sales & Sponsorship Ltd, T Pike & Frontier Bloodstock.

The son of Pins was purchased by Botswana Bloodstock for $20,000 at the 2016 Karaka Yearling Select Sale from Waikato Stud’s draft.