Under-rated mare Volks Lightning staked her claim for a possible group one assignment at Trentham this weekend with an emphatic performance at Ellerslie on Saturday.
The Graeme and Debbie Rogerson-trained mare was having her first run since finishing an unlucky seventh at the venue on Boxing Day where a wide barrier and bad luck in the running put paid to her chances in the Hallmark Stud Sprint.
Sent out a warm favourite in the day's opening contest, the 4-year-old Volksraad mare carried the colours of part-owner cricketer Brendon McCullum's Vermair Racing to a comprehensive victory.
Positioned nicely just off the speed by rider Leith Innes, Volks Lightning cruised up to the pacemakers on the point of the home turn before quickly dashing to a two-length lead.
Runner-up Mr Knowitall chased gamely in the concluding stages but Volks Lightning held him comfortably as she eased down at the post to score in a quick 1:09.58 for the 1200m contest.
"We think this a pretty good mare and she's starting to show that now," said co-trainer Graeme Rogerson.
"She's really matured this year and Debbie keeps saying she can win a really good race.
"She only did what she had to do today and it was an easy win in a quick time."
Rogerson and wife Debbie had just returned from a week at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale, where they had spent some time with part-owner McCullum.
"We caught up with Brendon and had a good chat with him about the mare and told him she was ready to win," he said.
"He managed to watch the race on Saturday and was straight on the phone to Debbie afterwards. He was very excited and agreed that if she pulls up well and can get a start then we will take her to Trentham for the Telegraph this weekend."
The mare sits in 20th position on the order of entry for the Telegraph with withdrawals from higher-rated runners required for her to make the final field.
The Rogerson stable will be well represented at Trentham with several runners set to compete, including impressive last-start Thames winner Ferrando who will contest the $40,000 three-year-old 1200m event on Saturday.
- NZ Racing Desk