War Dan Delight and Natalie Rasmussen, winning the Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham. Photo: Wild Range Photography.
Natalie Rasmussen's fleeting visit to Young Quinn raceway this afternoon (Saturday) proved worthwhile when her drive, War Dan Delight, won the $25,000 Alabar NZ Kindergarten Stakes in a race record 1:53.3.
It was the Bettor's Delight colt's second Group Three win in two starts following his victory in the Sapling Stakes at Ashburton on debut.
It has been a quick return for Australian owner Danny Zavitsanos, who paid $90,000 for the brother of 2017 Northern Derby winner Raukapuka Ruler at last year's premier sale.
Rasmussen said War Dan Delight was one of 30 they picked out at the sales.
“He had no faults,” she said.
“You hope they will all turn out group one horses and after what he has done he rates up there.”
This puts him in the same sphere as Jesse Duke, amazing winner of the Cardigan Bay Stakes for the All Stars stable nine days ago.
“Jesse Duke is a bit of a natural,” Rasmussen said.
“War Dan Delight is still learning. When he hit the front he got a bit lost.”
The colt left the gate well, Rasmussen eased him into the trail behind stablemate Jack Jones (Mark Purdon), then finished best in the straight.
“He is casual and laid back but has high speed, sits well on a good speed, in fact it felt slow, that's the sign of a good horse.”
Stablemate Another Masterpiece (Tim Williams) finished runner-up after settling fifth in the running.
“Going at that speed it panned out well,” Williams said.
“He found the line well; he's a real progressive type.”
Third was the Mitchell Kerr–trained first starter Zinny Mach (Dexter Dunn).
Fourth early, the gelding improved across the top and was the first to challenge.
“He's a natural two-year-old, speedy, felt comfortable in the running, good turning in, the other two just kicked better.”
After setting the pace, Jack Jones was outfinished and wound up fourth.
“He did everything right, just battled in the straight,” said Purdon.
Later on in the day, the $14,999 Wyndham Cup went the way of Winton pacer Gotta Minute (Dexter Dunn), who ran down Canterbury pacer Tiger Thompson in the shadows of the post.