Racing: Nashville too good for the superstars

Despite not having won top grade Hunterville galloper proved he was up to the best.

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

The group one stars were out in force for the Haunui Farm Classic at Otaki on Saturday but were completely upstaged by the relative novice Nashville, a maiden in the premier ranks.

With four-time spring group one winner, including the Cox Plate win over Australian superstar All Too Hard, and Ocean Park heading the cast Nashville was conceded little chance.

As well, last-start Zabeel Classic winner Veyron, Hong Kong group one performer Better Than Ever and top-flight Canterbury mare Final Touch, seeking her fourth win at the top level from her past five starts, comprised a classy field.

Nashville had hinted that he was not far off the best with his win in the Coupland's Mile at Riccarton last November and had also had no luck in the Thomson Mile and Telegraph Handicap at Trentham but he met his rivals badly off at the weights.

Rider Kelly Myers was content to drop Darci Brahma back to last in the five horse field as Veyron assumed the lead with Final Touch and Better Than Ever in close quarters.

Ocean Park, resuming after his third in the LKS Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington in November, sat fourth on the outer with Nashville giving him two lengths' start.

Final Touch was feeling the pinch with about 200m to go with Better Than Ever battling on.

Ocean Park was being eased out to make his run but Nashville pounced quickly and after a good battle with Veyron proved too strong.

Better Than Ever held on well for third ahead of Ocean Park who might have needed the run. He never lived up to backers' expectations in the straight but should derive benefit.

Trainer Gary Hennessy said Ocean Park was heading to Dubai then England and hopefully Ireland.

Final Touch looked as though she had come to the end of what has been a long campaign.

- NZ Herald

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