Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Talented gelding Swingband is developing into a leading candidate for several rich classics for three-year-olds in the coming months.
He impressed at his third appearance after a spell when Michael Grantham drove him to an all-the-way victory in the 2130m Honsun Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Baskerville trainer Ryan Bell was delighted with his performance and said that Swingband would be set for the $50,000 Sales Classic for colts and geldings on February 25, the $40,000 Caduceus Club Classic (March 25), the $50,000 Pearl on May 13 as well as other feature events.
Swingband, a $70,000 purchase at the 2020 APG Perth yearling sale, now has raced eight times for four wins and two placings for stakes of $36,532 as well as receiving bonus payments.
By former star pacer Alta Christiano, Swingband is out of Bettors Gem, who had 40 starts for 11 wins, 13 placings and $103,276.
He was a solidly supported $1.90 favourite from the No. 2 barrier. Grantham sent him straight to the front, with $9 chance Maungatahi enjoying an ideal trip behind the leader. The final three quarters were run in 29.3sec., 28.1sec. and 27.7sec. and Maungatahi lost few admirers with his strong-finishing second. The winner rated a smart 1.56.9.
The Miki Taker ($4.20) started from the outside in the field of seven and settled down in last position in an Indian file affair before being eased off the pegs 1200m from home. He fought on gamely to finish a well-beaten third.
Swingband, a winner of three races as a two-year-old, has plenty of room for improvement, according to Bell.
“He is more mature now, but is not yet quite the full package,” said Bell. “However, he is not far off it, and I expect his staying ability is going to prove his main attribute.”
Bell maintained his winning run when he trained two winners at Bunbury on Saturday night. He drove Sound Wave ($3.30) to victory, and Kyle Symington was in the sulky when Peligroso ($1.26) won.