Patience was rewarded at Tauranga on Friday for the connections of talented four-year-old Hasstobeawinner, who cleared maiden ranks with a performance that was well worth the wait.
The Vadamos gelding has shown ability from the beginning of his career, producing eye-catching finishes in his first two starts last season before running third behind subsequent Group Two performer Warsaw.
In his first two starts as a four-year-old, Hasstobeawinner finished second behind First Five at Ruakaka and second again at Te Aroha on November 29 – beaten by a mere head by Choose ‘Em Big.
Friday was finally Hasstobeawinner’s day, and he romped to a runaway victory in the Icon Security Systems Maiden (1400m).
Ridden by Craig Grylls for Cambridge trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood, Hasstobeawinner settled in second behind Ready Eddie Go, who was sent forward from a wide gate to set the pace.
Hasstobeawinner took command at the home turn and quickly put the result beyond any doubt. The $2.10 favourite changed gears and pulled away, opening up a winning margin of four and a quarter lengths over runner-up Sparkles. There was another three and a quarter lengths back to the third-placed Loose Change.
Hasstobeawinner has now had seven starts for a win and three placings, earning $24,470 in stakes.
“It was really pleasing to have such a good win today for some really long-standing clients of the stable,” Wellwood said. “The Hassalls have had quite a number of horses with us over the years and have had good success with horses like The Hassler. We’ve got four or five in work for them at the moment and it’s always a great thrill to have a win with that Hassall name in the book.
“This horse was quite impressive today. He’s been thereabouts in his last two, so it was lovely to see him put everything together and score such a convincing win.
“I think we most definitely have a fair bit more to look forward to with him. He’s by Vadamos, whose progeny usually get at least a mile, so we’re looking forward to stepping him up over a bit more ground in time. He’ll go to a mile next start and we’ll take it from there.”
Hasstobeawinner was bred by Colin and Irene Thompson, parents of Rich Hill Stud principal John Thompson. One of a dozen winners in New Zealand this season for Rich Hill stallion Vadamos, Hasstobeawinner is out of the seven-race-winning Keeper mare Keepereel, who is also the dam of the stakes performer He’s Got Power.
Notably, Keepereel is a half-sister to The Hassler, who won four races for the Hassall family including the Gr.2 Championship Stakes (2100m) before being sold to Hong Kong, where he scored another three wins.
Hasstobeawinner was offered by Rich Hill Stud in Book 2 of Karaka 2021, where he was bought by the Robt Dawe Agency for $45,000.