Outstanding Kiwi galloper Patrick Erin sat atop the Sydney staying ranks on Saturday afternoon after he produced a devastating sprint to capture the Gr.1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick.
It was the type of performance that his former mentor, legendary trainer Brian Anderton, knew he was capable of from the day he galloped him for the first time at his Wingatui base.
Bred and raised at Anderton’s White Robe Lodge, the seven-year-old son of resident stallion Gallant Guru caught Anderton’s eye early in the piece.
“He was a lovely young horse and I thought from day one that he had the makings of a really top stayer,” Anderton said.
“He was an immature type, so time was going to be his friend but the raw talent was there.”
Given plenty of time to strengthen and develop by breeder and co-owner Patrick Smith, whom the horse is named after, Patrick Erin commenced his career in April 2016 and tasted success for the first time when successful over 1200m on his home track in June that year.
He quickly raced through the grades, winning ten of his 21 starts before Anderton took the hard decision to recommend to his connections that the horse would be better placed racing in Australia.
“It was a tough thing to do, but in the best interests of the horse he had to go to Australia,” Anderton said.
“You don’t like to lose a horse like him from your stable but he was going to get crucified here by the handicapping system.
“I thought he could win a really good race in Australia, so we sat down with Patrick, his wife Jan and the other owners and recommended that they look at getting him into a good stable over there.”
Tragedy struck when Patrick Smith passed away four months ago without seeing his charge win at the highest level, a fact that made Saturday’s victory an emotion filled moment for Anderton.
“I’m just delighted for Jan and the family that he did what he did on Saturday,” he said.
“It’s been a tough time for them with Patrick’s passing so to get that win was very special. Jan was there to see it all unfold, so I’m sure when she gets back we will have a good celebration to look forward to.”
Anderton is also philosophical about what effect Patrick Erin’s victory will have for his stallion Gallant Guru, who has been neglected by breeders in recent years.
“The phone might go this week but it’s been a bit lean for him of late,” he said.
“When you think of horses like Patrick Erin, his older brother Gallant Boy, Jackfrost, Coulee and Tommy Tucker he produces good, tough individuals that race on and have a fair bit of class about them.
“At this stage though he only has one outside booking along with the mares we will send to him.
“He just doesn’t appeal to most breeders as his stock need plenty of time to get to their peak and they are mainly looking for a much quicker return than that. “
In the meantime, Anderton is eagerly awaiting the emergence of the next chapter in the story with Patrick Erin’s older full sister, Gallant Babe, set to produce a foal any day now by White Robe Lodge’s Group Two winning son of Shamardal, Ghibellines. – NZ Racing Desk