Speed machine Bolt From The Blue returned to his front-running best when showing his three-year-old rivals a clean pair of heels at Tauranga yesterday.
The Tony Pike-trained galloper had indicated his readiness to resume from a four-month break with a hollow 1000-metre trial win at Avondale in late February.
Successful on debut over 1000 metres at Taupo back in September, the Rip Van Winkle gelding was then narrowly defeated over 1200 at Tauranga at his second start by subsequent stakes winner Spirits Aubeer.
A disappointing run at Rotorua saw him put aside before resuming yesterday, when he was sent out a warm favourite for the All Frocked Up Girls 1200.
Rider Vinnie Colgan hunted him to the lead and he had his six rivals in trouble a long way from home. Colgan let the brakes go early in the run home and the stylish chestnut dashed away to win untouched by five and a half lengths.
“He likes to run that way and the track on the dead side suited him,” Colgan said. “He did trial nicely at Avondale a couple of weeks back, so the writing was on the wall.
“He had a real good kick at the 400, although he’s still a little big in condition, so he will improve with the race.”
Pike stable representative Chris McNab said they had been expecting a good performance based on the improvement the horse had made during his summer break. “He’s come back way better and way stronger this time,” McNab said.
Bolt From The Blue is owned by a large syndicate that includes the estate of the late Peter Mitchell and carries the colours made famous by the champion galloper Bonecrusher.
From Flying Spur mare Miss Ottey, he was a $50,000 purchase from the Windsor Park Stud draft at the 2017 National Yearling Sale and hails from the family that includes two Gr. 1 Golden Slipper winners in Capitalist and Merlene.