Defending New Zealand Champion Jockey titleholder Michael McNab, who currently sits atop the National premiership ladder with 124 victories for the season, showed all his undoubted class when he dominated the three feature events at Pukekohe on Saturday.
After earlier taking out the Listed Staphanos At Novara Park Champagne Stakes (1600m) aboard Loch Katrine followed by the Gr.3 Trelawney Stud Championship Stakes (2100m) on Cheval D’Or, McNab made it three from three in the black type races on the card with a polished performance aboard the Andrew Forsman-trained White Noise in the Gr.3 Manco Easter Handicap (1600m).
McNab never put a foot wrong as he maneuvered White Noise into a handy position tracking the pace before heading to the outer reaches of the Pukekohe home straight to lodge his challenge.
White Noise quickly assumed control and never looked like being caught as he stretched away to win by two lengths from Habana, who chased him hard, with Taranaki visitor Tavattack back in third.
“It looked like a good race for him on paper and then we got nervous when the track came up so heavy,” Forsman said.
“He handled it well and as one of the better performed horses in the race, it was good to see him get a win on the board.
“We asked a fair bit of him in the Spring (in Melbourne) and we brought him home and gave him another prep, which probably wasn’t the right thing to do.
“We backed off him and he has come back in good order and is now rewarding the patrons.”
Forsman didn’t envisage there were many local targets left for the horse in this campaign so will contemplate heading back across the Tasman for another shot at some Australian riches.
“There is not a lot here so we will talk to the owners and see what our options are,” he said.
“It was a really good win today as I was a little bit worried when Tavattack loomed up as he looked like he might get the drop on us, but to his (White Noise) credit he dug deep and was strong to the line.”
McNab admitted his charge had been a little wary on the testing surface.
“He was a little unsure although he had raced on wetter tracks before,” he said.
“His run the other day was very good so I made sure I got on the phone and got on him for today and he was probably never in doubt from the half mile.
“He is a progressive horse in this type of race and he did a very good job today.
“I wanted to get out and get a spot so I could dictate where I was in the field.
“Once I started tracking up coming to the bend it was pretty easy from there.
“To ride three stakes winners is pretty good and I have been having a good season so far.”
Owned by a large syndicate that includes his breeders Mike Gatt and Matthew and Allan Fenwick, White Noise is out of the unraced Sir Percy mare White Nymph (NZ), the dam of useful stayer El Nymph (NZ) (El Roca).
He has now won six of his 20 starts and over $242,000 in prizemoney. – NZ Racing Desk