In the case of Al Strada (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) a book can be judged by its cover and the handsome chestnut added further performance to go with his good looks when he was a cut above his rivals in the Listed Reid & Harrison Matamata Slipper.
The lightly-tried speedster gave a dominant front-running performance to confirm trainer Jason Price’s plans to tackle both upcoming Group One two-year-old features.
“He’s the type of horse that loves to freewheel along at his own tempo and when nothing takes him on he’s hard to beat,” he said. “He’ll definitely go to the Diamond Stakes and then on to Manawatu.”
Al Strada (NZ) had led all of the way to win his Paeroa debut by a wide margin, but then tailed the field home in the Karaka Million after a torrid run from the outside alley.
“He came across and caused a bit of carnage and then some inside came out and knocked him around and his immaturity got him a bit rattled,” Price said.
Out of sight and out of trouble were the tactics regular rider Reese Jones used to good effect at Matamata and Al Strada (NZ) revelled in his work to the turn. They sprinted off the corner and had three-quarters of a length to spare on the post.
“He jumped and travelled beautifully and he’s a lovely animal,” Jones said. “He was pretty green at Ellerslie but he’s got the motor and the conformation and he’ll only improve with more time and experience.”
Bred by Nick and Anne-Marie King’s Brighthill Farm, Al Strada (NZ) was a NZ$22,500 yearling at Karaka and is out of Penny Arcade (NZ) (Straussbrook) who won twice, including the Listed Ryder Stakes as a two-year-old.
Favourite Touche (NZ) (Thorn Park) ran home gamely for second without ever looking a serious threat to the winner and Astute And Agile (NZ) (St Reims) was a distant third.
NZ Thoroughbred Marketing