Von Trapp (Andrew Calder) bounds home on debut at Ruakaka.
Two-year-old Von Trapp lit up a wintry afternoon at Ruakaka today with an impressive debut, prompting his excited owners to look ahead to the spring.
The Swiss Ace gelding, bought for $62,500 as a yearling at Karaka by Pukekohe trainer Richard Collett, had easily won all of his three trials.
Von Trapp went out as the $2.60 favourite for today’s $22,500 Almanzor at Cambridge Stud 2YO, and the result was more of the same.
Collett’s son-in-law Andrew Calder sent the bay first-starter forward from gate nine, and he dominated the race from the front.
Von Trapp changed gears in the straight and opened up a big margin, and despite racing greenly in the closing stages he scored by three and a quarter lengths from last-start winner Hapi Ella. Call Me Murphy ran on strongly late for third.
“He’s very smart,” Calder said as he dismounted.
Collett, who is currently in Vietnam, shares ownership of Von Trapp with Carol and Glenn Kidd, Paul Williams, Noel Wilson, Martin Brady, Wayne Bryson, Carol Findlay, Leigh Crockford, Bill and Mary Colgan and Louise Wilson.
Owners swarmed around the winners’ circle, cheering and taking photos of their returning hero.
“He looks like quite a smart young horse,” said one. “He’d won all of his three trials, and each time he ran the fastest time of the day.
“He’s still doing a few things wrong and he’s got a bit to learn, but it’s exciting – especially with all the good three-year-old racing coming up. We all really hope he can take that next step.
“It’s better to race a fast horse than a slow one, and I’ve raced plenty of slow ones!”