Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Brilliant Alta Christiano three-year-old Swingband gave another sample of his class with a dashing victory in the group 3 $40,000 Caduceus Club Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night, a win which left his trainer Ryan Bell scratching his head, uncertain about the gelding’s immediate program.
“Initially, we were going to bypass the APG Gold Bullion next month and give him a break before preparing him for the $50,000 Pearl on May 13,” said Bell.
“Tonight, Swingband got a bit keen, which is not normal. Two weeks between races might have got to him a bit, even though I thought he was spot on. With the run he had (one-out and one-back) I thought he should have put The Miki Taker away better than that (with the winning margin just under one length).
“But he did come back in, blowing up huge. I haven’t missed him at home, and I think that the sign of a good horse is that the more you do with him (at training), the better it is. Tonight, he showed that he needed the run.
“His heart rate and his recovery suggested that he’s doing too well at home. I’ll now talk to the owners regarding plans for his future. I’d love to put him away before the Pearl, but maybe we will run him in the heats and the final of the Gold Bullion.
“It was a good win (rating 1.55 over the 2130m), but with the run he had I thought he should have won more easily, even though Aiden’s horse (The Miki Taker) is a bit of a bulldog.”
The Miki Taker, trained and driven by Aiden de Campo, settled down in fourth place on the pegs, while Mister Montblanc began speedily and led the polemarker Maungatahi by a length, but was unable to cross to the front. De Campo then dashed The Miki Taker, the $1.55 favourite, forward with a fast three-wide burst to assume control after 450m.
Michael Grantham was delighted to take the one-out, one-back trail behind Mister Montblanc in the breeze. He eased Swingband three wide 550m from home and the gelding accelerated quickly to hit the front 130m later. But Swingband had to fight tigerishly to keep the gallant The Miki Taker at bay.
Swingband, a $70,000 yearling, now has raced eleven times for six wins, three placings and $96,102. He is the first foal out of Bettors Gem, who was trained and driven by Shane Young and was retired with a record of 40 starts for 11 wins, 13 placings and stakes of $103,276.
Bell followed Swingband’s success with a training double at Narrogin on Saturday night. He drove $7 chance Sound Wave to victory a race after Kyle Symington won with the $2.65 favourite Peligroso.