Pukekohe trainer Nigel Tiley picked up an early quinella at Tauranga on Wednesday courtesy of Van Blanc and Hunua Hank in the Gartshore 1600.
Under torrential rain Van Blank looked a beaten runner at the 800m as he drifted back to the rear of the field, however, under the urgings of jockey Vinnie Colgan, the four-year-old made a resurgence and came storming home late out wide to run down his stablemate to record a short-margin victory.
“He was very wide and then he drifted right out of it, I actually took my eyes off him and was watching the other horse (Hunua Hank),” stable foreman Karen Zimmerman said.
“He came home really well. They both really deserved to win today. It was a good effort by both of them.”
Jockey Vinnie Colgan thought he was on a beaten horse midway through the race, but was pleased with the way his charge fought back down the home straight.
“It was hard work,” he said. “There was a decent downpour as we raced and there was a lot of mud coming back. It was hard to see and the track is very deep.
“My horse was going backwards at the half-mile, it wasn’t until I got him wide and into a bit of clear space that he got going again. It was a really good effort by the horse.