Speed machine Bolt From The Blue was back to his front-running best when he showed his three-year-old rivals a clean pair of heels at Tauranga on Saturday.
The Tony Pike-trained galloper had indicated his readiness to resume from a four-month break over the summer months with a hollow victory over 1000m at the Avondale trials in late February.
Successful on debut over 1000m at Taupo back in September, the Rip Van Winkle gelding was then narrowly defeated over 1200m at Tauranga at his second start by subsequent stakes winner Spirits Aubeer.
A disappointing run at Rotorua saw him put aside before resuming on Saturday where he was sent out a warm favourite for the 1200m contest.
Hunted to the lead by rider Vinnie Colgan, Bolt From The Blue had his six rivals in trouble a long way from home. Colgan let the brakes go early in the run home and the stylish chestnut dashed away to win untouched by five and a half lengths in a smart 1.10.01 on a Dead5 rated surface.
“He likes to run that way (in front) and the track on the dead side suited him,” Colgan said.
“He did trial nicely at Avondale a couple of weeks back, so the writing was on the wall.
“He had a real good kick at the 400m, although he’s still a little big in condition, so he will improve with the race.”
Pike stable representative Chris McNab said they had been expecting a good performance based on the improvement the horse had made during his summer break.
“He’s come back way better and way stronger this time,” he said.
Bolt From The Blue is owned by a large syndicate that includes the estate of the late Peter Mitchell and carries the colours made famous by Mitchell’s champion galloper, Bonecrusher.
From Flying Spur mare Miss Ottey, he was a $50,000 purchase from the Windsor Park Stud draft at the 2017 National Yearling Sale and hails from an extended family that includes two Gr.1 Golden Slipper (1200m) winners in Capitalist and Merlene. – NZ Racing Desk