Black type opportunities are now part of the plan for Windsor Park-bred Hover (Starcraft ex Hot Stash by Secret Savings) who ran greenly but was far too good for his rivals at Trentham on Saturday.
Trainer Allan Sharrock has a lot of time for his highly talented two-year-old, but even he was surprised by the Starcraft gelding’s scintillating performance to win at Trentham.
A soundly beaten runner-up in his only previous start, Hover took an enormous step forward in today’s Marky Mark Cup.
The chestnut gelding raced in a midfield position before rider Jonathan Riddell angled him to the outside to make his run and he unleashed an explosive turn of foot.
Despite racing greenly and showing more interest in his surroundings than the job at hand, enormous natural ability saw Hover draw right away from his rivals. He won the $17,500 event by five and a quarter lengths.
“We already knew he was a pretty talented young horse so I wasn’t surprised to see him win today, but the way he did it was pretty impressive,” Sharrock said.
Bought by Sharrock for $32,500 from the draft of Windsor Park Stud at the 2014 Select Yearling Sale at Karaka, Hover is raced by long-time stable clients Noel and Ron Stanley. The Opunake brothers have been in the ownership of a long list of high-quality gallopers from the Sharrock stable headed by the 2006 New Zealand Derby winner Wahid and dual Group One winner Grout.
Hover is the latest addition to that list and will now earn his chance at stakes level, perhaps in the Listed Castletown Stakes at Wanganui on May 30.
“We’ll look at a race like the Castletown Stakes with him,” Sharrock said. “I’ve told the Stanley boys that he’s immature and still developing, so I don’t want to do too much with him too early. But it would be good to give him a couple more runs in the autumn and early winter. He’s out of a Secret Savings mare, and they’ve shown they can handle wet ground.
“If everything goes to plan we might look at the Wanganui Guineas in the spring.”