Ruakaka raider Dragon Storm produced the performance of his life when he won the Group 3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton in a thrilling finish.
Given a perfect ride in midfield under jockey Craig Grylls, Dragon Storm made his move at the 1000m as he pierced between runners to loom into contention 300m out.
The 6-year-old mastered Wanganui visitor Hurry Cane, who had shot to the lead, but was set upon by Cambridge runner Lincoln King.
The pair went blow for blow over the final furlong, with Dragon Storm thrusting his head in front at the winning post to secure the victory by a nose from a game LincolnKing, with Hurry Cane third.
"I must admit I was a little worried when I saw them all start to roll around him," trainer Chris Gibbs said.
"I had said to Craig to watch out, as they would all start coming at him and he might get shuffled back. He rode him beautifully and got him out at just the right time."
The potent combination of trainer Jamie Richards and rider Opie Bosson were back doing what they do best yesterday — winning Group 1 races — as they combined to guide Kahma Lass to victory in the New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).
Wearing the colours of Cambridge Stud proprietors Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Bosson produced a masterclass to weave the Darci Brahma filly between runners in the home straight before striking the front with 100m to run.
Stablemate Cornflower Blue was fighting for all she was worth after striking the front halfway down the home straight but couldn't withstand the potent finish of Kahma Lass and had to settle for third after being nabbed by the late run of localrunner Miss Tycoon Rose, who came from near last for second.
Richards was delighted with the victory and the ride by Bosson, who brought up a winning stakes double on the day for the stable, having won the Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m)
aboard Avonallo two races earlier.
"It all worked out pretty well, as they went no tempo," Richards said.
"She was back getting at the half mile but she got the run through them without having to come to the outside, which was probably the winning of the race."
— NZ RacingDesk