Waitak, one of last season’s well performed three-year-olds made a powerful statement at Te Rapa on Saturday when he opened his summer campaign with a comfortable victory.
After finishing third in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) as a two-year-old, Waitak went on to win the Listed Trevor & Corallie Eagle Memorial 3YO (1400m) before finishing second in the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and a meritorious fifth in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at three.
The powerfully built son of Proisir was given two preparatory trials by trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott after enjoying a decent break following a Brisbane winter carnival stint in which he never really received the rub of the green during his four starts in three-year-old stakes company.
Punters weren’t to be deterred as they sent him out a $2 favourite in the hands of Joe Doyle and he didn’t disappoint as he raced away from his eight rivals in the closing stages of the open 1300m contest after enjoying a perfect run in behind the pace throughout.
Doyle, who had ridden the horse in his two trials, was suitably impressed by the effort.
“The main concern was whether he could get out of the gates and travel and he did it great and picked up well to the line,” Doyle said.
“He just absolutely has bags of class and I think we will see plenty more of him through the year.
“It was a smooth and comfortable race where he has done it nicely and the only way is up.”
Scott was relieved to get the new campaign underway for his charge as the stable looks towards bigger and better things with him over the coming months.
“It was a really good ride from Joe as he eased back across the top and let him balance and breath,” Scott said.
“He (Waitak) showed a good turn of foot and hopefully we have a good summer ahead.
“Lance is keen to keep him around one corner this summer as he relaxes better.
“He has come back bigger, better and more relaxed in the mind as he got a bit hot through his three-year-old year.
“He had a long break after Brisbane and he should go well over the summer now.”
Bred and raced by Colin Devine, Waitak is the first foal out of his two-race winning mare Repo Bay and has now won three of his 7 starts and over $206,000 in prizemoney.