Don't be surprised if Padraig ends up as New Zealand champion 2-year-old this season.

His Trentham win on Saturday was as sensational as it was expected.

The awkward part was drawing the outside No 11 barrier. It became worse when he was checked early and had to come four wide on the home bend.

It made no difference, Padraig was a class above the opposition.


The most obvious conclusion is that the handsome colt is as raw as it can get without getting beaten.

"Whatever he does as a 2-year-old he will get better at three," trainer Brendan Hawtin has always said.

Watch the last 200m of the race again and observe Padraig looking to his right at the grandstand on his side, clear evidence he wasn't concentrating on the job on a track he had not seen before.

The colt is now the horse to beat in the $1 million Karaka Million on January 29 and what will help is his previous experience of the Auckland track, which can be daunting for juveniles seeing it for the first time.

"He's just a natural, but he's very green," say Hawtin. "This race is only a bonus." Sunday week will be an enormous bonus.

Hall Of Fame's victory over Savile Row and Jon Snow in Saturday's $225,000 Randwick Meats Levin Classic was narrow, but don't count him down because of that.

Absolute top-class colts can be lazy and to be fair to Hall Of Fame, he got to the lead a bit earlier than Opie Bosson would have liked.

As good as they are that type of horse can win narrowly, but not look like being beaten. That summed up Hall Of Fame on Saturday. He fought strongly and despite the closeness of the finish didn't really look like getting beaten.

The best 3-year-olds improve rapidly at this time of year -- think Bonecrusher -- and Hall Of Fame gives that impression.

Savile Row lost no friends with his close second. He fought bravely in the closing stages, even when it got close between the winner and third-placed Jon Snow.

"Hall Of Fame has come back up well after a break since Riccarton in the first week in November," said co-trainer Stephen Autridge.

Karaka Million tip

• Padraig franked his credentials for the Ellerslie feature with a strong Trentham win.
• Although he raced erratically he was holding his rivals at bay.
• Hall Of Fame scored a game win in the Levin Stakes.