Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards completed their unfinished group one business at Trentham yesterday in fine style with Hall Of Fame.
The Matamata trainers produced the colt to win the Randwick Meats Levin Classic, a race in which his stablemate Xtravagant suffered a shock defeat when fourth 12 months ago as a $1.30 favourite.
Hall Of Fame also put aside the disappointment of his own failure in his spring goal when he beat only one runner home in the group one New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton.
"He's always showed plenty of ability, but he'd had enough then and we gave him a break and he's come back better than ever," Autridge said.
"It's great for Savabeel and it's great for Te Akau, we're absolutely rapt."
Hall Of Fame is on a path to the group one Vodafone New Zealand Derby and his odds have now been trimmed to $9 for the March 17 feature at Ellerslie.
"At this stage, he'll run next in the Waikato Guineas," Autridge said.
Hall Of Fame was in a good early position behind the pace before he got shuffled back, but rider Opie Bosson was able to angle off the fence 600 metres from home.
They moved into contention at the top of the straight and Hall Of Fame edged clear with 200 metres to go and he had enough in reserve to see off the favourite Savile Row and Jon Snow, both of whom rallied strongly.
"I got to the front a bit soon and he was gazing around," Bosson said. "He's got the best attributes of a top colt and he just goes out and does his stuff."
Hall Of Fame has now won five of his nine starts for the Te Akau 24/7 Syndicate.
"He was passed in at the Ready to Run Sale and I went to look at him afterwards and paid $230,000 five minutes after he came out of the ring," Te Akau principal David Ellis said.
- NZ Racing Desk.