Duke Of Azmaan third-time lucky
His gallop last Tuesday clearly showed he had benefited from two runs and, last night, DUKE OF AZMAAN brought that form to the races with a nice win in Race 4.
While he led the last time before giving ground to finish fourth, jockey Manoel Nunes sat Duke Of Azmaan behind pacemaker Good Bet to save petrol for the run home in the Initation event over 1,000m on the Polytrack.
Nunes punched his mount to the front with 200m to go and kept it going to beat the fast-finishing newcomer Knight Harlook by a length.
"I think tonight was a small field and I was able to put him behind the other horse, and I believe he will be better later with more ground," said Nunes.
"He has got speed, but he's the kind of horse you can ride anywhere. I think, as I said, later on, with more ground, would probably be better, and on the grass, too."
Winning trainer Bruce Marsh was pleased to see Duke Of Azmaan settling nicely behind before going for the kill, which suggests his charge will handle a longer trip later on.
"Saw him settled in the trial and he got to the line really strong. I think he'll get 1,200m quite easily," said the smiling Kiwi.
"Nunes said he sort of pressured him to get there (last start), so he overraced. So, it was good to see him settle like he did tonight."
Starting favourite, Duke Of Azmaan paid $14 for a win.