Underrated three-year-old Pendragon upset the Te Akau Racing party when he downed favourites Tokyo Tycoon and the previously unbeaten Quintessa over 1200m at Te Rapa on Saturday.
The Mike Moroney and Pam Gerard-trained son of US Navy Flag had opened his winning account at Te Aroha at his most recent start and backed that up with a stylish on-pace effort in the hands of apprentice Niranjan Parmar.
Allowed to dictate terms in front after jumping well from an inside barrier draw (1), Pendragon shot clear early in the run home and despite being pursued valiantly by the Te Akau Racing stablemates, he comfortably held them at bay by just on two lengths in a tidy 1.10.31 for the 1200m journey.
Gerard was rapt with the performance of both horse and rider, with the pair having strung together back-to-back victories.
“Hats off to Parmar as he has come and ridden this horse quite a bit and he (Pendragon) has learnt to settle now,” Gerard said.
“We’ve had him all the way through and he has tended to get a bit hot and sweaty.
“He has a pretty quick turn of foot but he always wanted to go quite hard, so it was a brilliant ride.
“We will probably reassess now as there are some nice races coming up including the Guineas (Gr.2, 1400m) or we might stick to 1200m at Ellerslie.”
Gerard was referring to the Gr.2 Auckland Guineas (1400m) at Pukekohe on Boxing Day with either a three-year-old 1200m contest at Ellerslie on the 14th of January or the Gr.3 Cambridge Stud Almanzor Trophy (1200m) there on 27 January as other possible options.
Purchased for $110,000 by Paul Moroney Bloodstock and Ballymore Stables from the Valachi Downs Book 2 draft at Karaka in 2022, Pendragon hails from an extended family that features a number of European stakes winners including Gr.1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2400m) winner Solemia.
Leanach Lodge will offer a half-brother by Time Test as Lot 790 during the Book 2 session at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale at Karaka which commences on 28 January.