Promising juvenile Leedox (Time Test x Bella Carolina) produced a determined effort to register his first raceday success when he took out the feature event at Pukekohe on Saturday, the Listed Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Futurity Stakes (1400m).
Rider Ryan Elliot settled Leedox behind the early pace in the contest before tracking up along the inner approaching the home turn.
As the field fanned across the track, Elliot sent the Andrew Forsman-trained runner through a gap one off the fence before angling back to the rail where he kicked strongly to fend off the challenge of race favourite Contagious by a long neck at the line, with pacemaker Timeless fighting on well for third.
The victory is Forsman’s second at stakes level since commencing his solo training career at the beginning of the month, after more than ten years in partnership with the now retired Murray Baker.
The Cambridge-based conditioner took in the race via his mobile phone as he prepared to head to the Eagle Farm track later in the day with Gr.1 Doomben Cup (2100m) candidate The Chosen One.
“That was a super win as he was very professional in the way he took the gap in the straight and put in over the closing stages,” Forsman said.
“He did get to the front a long way out and I was worried the favourite (Contagious) might have the last run on him, but to his credit he refused to give in and got the win.
“He will more than likely go for a spell now as there isn’t a lot around for him and he still has plenty of developing to do. If he can improve over that break, then we may have a smart three-year-old on our hands.”
Both Leedox and Timeless are from the first crop of Little Avondale Stud shuttle stallion Time Test, with Leedox providing his sire with his second individual New Zealand winner and his first Southern Hemisphere stakes winner.
Little Avondale principal Sam Williams was fizzing after the victory.
“He (Time Test) has had a fantastic start here and to have three runners in the Karaka Million (1200m) and to also get a stakes winner from his first crop is a massive feather in his cap and the best is still to come,” he said.
“He is just finishing covering his biggest book ever up in England and he has been very well supported with full books down here in his last two seasons and I would expect that to happen again this year.
“He is a good-looking son of Dubawi, who is just flying and we are graced here in New Zealand to have the bloodlines of this horse.
“Andrew (Forsman) has been a supporter of the stallion all the way through and it is great to have the repeat business and to see him doing well.”
Leedox was bred by Mapperley Park principal Simms Davison and was purchased out of his 2021 Karaka Book 1 draft for $220,000 by Bruce Perry on behalf of owner Lib Petagna. He is the younger half-brother of stakes winning Per Incanto mare Tennessee, who also finished fourth in the Gr.1 Diamond Stakes (1200m) as a juvenile. - NZ Racing Desk