Alta Maestro produces New Zealand record in taking Sires Stakes heat
He had looked the real deal in his first two wins, but a Young Guns third at his last start gave some hope to his rivals tonight. However, it was a totally dominant Alta Maestro tonight as he cruised to an emphatic win by four and a quarter lengths in a New Zealand record time of 1.59.9 for a two year old colt or gelding.
Eased off the gate early on, Dexter then pushed forward with Alta Maestro to have a lead inquiry but was initially denied by Brent Mangos driving Culpeka. However, a lead time of 27.9 soon saw that runner take a trail from the 1100m. Any hopes that the others had of the pace easing off quickly disappeared as a 29.1 second quarter soon had the field stretched out. A 28.3 quarter down the backstraight kept the pressure on and the only question turning for home is what time the impressive Art Major colt was able to run. Another 28.3 quarter completed a 1700m trip run in 1.59.7, 0.3 second inside More The Better's New Zealand record set a year ago.
Both Robert and son Dexter have been associated with champion juveniles in the past - Robert with the great Master Musician and Dexter with Smiling Shard - however this guy, the pride and joy for owners Stu and Liz Leadley looks every bit the real deal himself.
While beaten in the Young Guns final at his last start, Dexter did feel that he had an excuse and still acquitted himself very well.
"We didn't get off the gate quite good enough that night and he got squeezed up a little bit, meaning that we had to sit in the breeze."
"The rain affected track that night had a real leader bias to it and while Barry's one went super, I was happy with my guy too, especially as he hadn't raced for ten weeks heading into that race."
Alta Maestro looks set to make his South Island debut in the near future, with the Welcome Stakes and Sires Stakes final looking certain to be on his radar in the medium term.
Posted: Thu 23 Mar 2017