Daytona Red can make his mark in stronger company over ground.

The lightly-tried four-year-old was a maiden winner over 2200m two runs back at Ellerslie and he returned there on New Year's Day to bag the thick end of the $50,000 stake in the Stella Artois 2100m.

"They have been two very good efforts, he came from last at the 500m the first time and he's finished off very strongly again," trainer Shaune Ritchie said.

"He's going to keep getting better as a stayer, he looks like he'll get two miles as well."


A son of Sebring, Daytona Red is part-owned by Peter Mitchell, whose familiar silks have been carried to multiple Group One successes across Australasia.

"It's lovely to see Bonecrusher's colours back winning at Ellerslie again," Ritchie said.

They were sported on New Year's Day by Alysha Collett, who also has a good opinion of Daytona Red.

"He's a beautiful staying horse who relaxes and he travelled well all the way," she said. "He was a bit raw up the straight so he can only keep improving."

Meanwhile, the aptly-named Project provided Tony Cole with success in three roles when he triumphed in the Mainstream Plumbing & Gasfitting 1400m, also a special conditions event with a $50,000 purse.

The Te Kauwhata-based horseman bred, co-owns and trains the Lucky Unicorn four-year-old.

"I've only got three in work and he's my little project," Cole said. "He's tough like his mother [three-time winner Penumbra]."

• The weather has foiled plans for Darci Mac so far, but conditions will be more in his favour at Omakau today.

The six-year-old will close out his southern sojourn in the Alexandra New World Central Otago Summer Cup (1400m) with Jason Laking to guide the topweight's fortunes.

"I sent him down there in the hope of striking off tracks, but he's struck good ones," New Plymouth part-owner and trainer Allan Sharrock said. "He's got 60kg, but they're getting a bit of rain down there and that will help him."

Meanwhile, star galloper Kawi is progressing well toward the Gr.1 Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham on January 20 in his pursuit of an eighth top-flight victory. "He galloped super this morning," Sharrock said. "He'll go to the trials at Cambridge on Tuesday week. I'll put the blinkers on and let Jason [Waddell] get a feel of him."

- NZ Racing Desk