RACING: Harnova looms as lightning Godbolt prospect
RACING: For an experienced horse trainer there are a few early indications that you have picked up a potential stable star.
Winning their debut start always helps, but to have a jockey travel for more than five hours for their first trip to Grafton just to saddle up the one horse in the first, is a telltale sign of future success.
After a horror second up start at Newcastle just over a fortnight ago, Neil Godbolt-trained $1.50 favourite Harnova returned to the winner's circle at Grafton yesterday.
While a tough exit from the barriers saw the 2YO end up a fast-finishing third down south there was no such issues at Grafton as jockey Alison Threadwell claimed her first win on board the pacey gelding.
It was a pleasing win for the 33-year-old Beaumont jockey who drove up from her home track just for that race before earning another start in race eight on board Ken Lantry's Mystery.
"I think he is really nice horse, he is still a bit green and has a lot to learn about racing, but I think he will just get better and better with each start,” Thread- well said, after storming past the post in the Castle Heights (NZ) 2YO Handicap (1000 metres). "I was coming up here just for and if I could stick to him I would be very happy.”
It was a clean release from the gates which allowed Harnova to storm to the front early and from there no challenger looked close to troubling him.
It was a pretty sight for trainer Godbolt, who has had nothing but praise for the runner since joining his stables late last year.
"He is a pretty promising horse, the other day at Newcastle he got polaxed out of the barriers and he was back last,” he said. "He still managed to come home to third there but today once he pinged the lids and got out strong I knew no horse was going to pull him back.
"(Alison) rode the horse a treat today. I was not really that nervous at any stage in the race. He pulls away nicely, he is one of those horses that is definitely going somewhere.”
Greg Kilner galloper Bearly Thinking (Raymond Spokes) broke the line well, and held just off the pace nicely but did not have enough late speed as he finished a 1.5 length second place. Dan Want's Benasong (Ben Looker) rounded out the podium.
While Godbolt said there were no immediate plans for Harnova, locals should expect to see him in July.