Chambord (Cameron Lammas) claims a well-deserved first stakes win in the Levin Stakes at Otaki.
With a hard-earned win over gallant topweight Start Wondering in today’s Listed FastTrack Insurance Levin Stakes at Otaki, Chambord claimed a black-type victory that was several years in the making.
The well-bred son of Zabeel was a $200,000 yearling purchase at Karaka, and he performed with credit in elite three-year-old company. He finished second to his subsequent 1000 Guineas-winning stablemate Costa Viva in the Listed Ray Coupland Stakes at Ashburton, then was runner-up behind Atlante in the Gr. 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas.
Further stakes placings followed in the Gr. 2 Great Northern Guineas and the Listed Matamata Cup, but the last three years of his stop-start career have been plagued by injury.
For the seven-year-old gelding and his patient owners in the Te Akau Cups Syndicate, today was finally the day.
With Cameron Lammas in the saddle, Chambord sat in second-last place in the small field in the sprint feature before moving within striking distance and angling off the rail approaching the home turn.
Chambord quickened smartly in the straight and moved up to challenge the dual Group One winner Start Wondering, who fought back bravely under his hefty 61-kilogram impost.
The two fought an exciting battle in the last 100 metres, but in the end the seven and a half kilogram weight difference proved to be decisive as Chambord stretched out to win by a long neck
Chambord has now had 21 starts for four wins, eight placings and more than $209,000 in prize-money.
“He really deserved that black-type win today,” co-trainer Jamie Richards told www.theinformant.co.nz. “He’s a lovely old horse. The owners have been very patient and they’ve never moaned while he’s needed all of this time. This was a very good reward.
“We’ve got a few options on where to go next with him – he’s in the Railway and the Telegraph, and if we think he’ll be suited over a bit further there’s the Group Three race over 1400 metres at Te Rapa (December 16). We’ll just get him home and let the dust settle, then make a plan from there.”
The connections of last season’s champion sprinter Start Wondering will be more than happy with his resuming run, and he is sure to improve as he carries on towards the Gr. 1 Railway Stakes, Telegraph and NRM Sprint. He finished first, second and first in the same races last season.