Hastings return for Leading Role

Racing Desk
8 September 2017

A return trip to Hastings for the second day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival is the next assignment for the Gary Vile-trained Leading Role after an eye-catching performance on Tarzino Trophy day last weekend.

The Darci Brahma four-year-old looked one of the more unlucky runners on the day when he flashed home late to snatch second behind Cambridge galloper Decades in the last race on the programme.

Leading Role Photo: Race Images Palmerston North

It was the gelding’s first run since finishing third in the Gr. 3 Manawatu Classic back in April and a performance that delighted his trainer.

“I was pretty confident going into the race as he is just a different horse this time in,” Vile said.

“He has really strengthened and matured during the break and his work before the race had been spot on.

“We took advantage of the three kilogram claim of Sarah McNab who rode him a treat. He was just a victim of circumstances as when he was looking for a way through in the home straight the winner had found a gap and put a break on us that we just couldn’t pull back.

“To see him charge home like that was very pleasing and augurs well for what we have in mind for him later in his campaign.”

While Vile isn’t focussing too far beyond a Rating 65 1400 metre contest on day two at Hastings, he does have some fairly big plans for his charge if he can continue the improvement he has shown to date.

“I don’t think there is a doubt that he will get a mile and a-half so that brings him into contention for some of the cup races later in the year,” he said.

“A race like the Manawatu Cup over 2300 metres would be ideal, so that is one of the options I’d like to pursue further down the track with him.

“He had a pretty big three-year-old season, but he copped everything we threw at him. Now that he has matured I think he is definitely capable of winning a good staying race somewhere along the way.”

Vile was also delighted with results from a big team of runners that he took to the Foxton trials on Tuesday, particularly three-year-old classic contender Hard Merchandize.

The Listed Castletown Stakes winner finished hard held in third over 1000 metres with Vile confirming he was on target for the Gr. 2 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas in October.

“I was delighted with how he went and how he pulled up afterwards,” he said.

“He needed a good blow-out and that’s what he got.

“At this stage, he will have his first run back at Awapuni on September 16 and if he performs well then he will go straight to the Hawke’s Bay Guineas after that.” – NZ Racing Desk

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