Easy work for Dijon Bleu and Waldorf in Wanganui

Dijon Bleu put four and a half lengths on the field in The O'Leary's Fillies Stakes.
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Dijon Bleu put four and a half lengths on the field in The O'Leary's Fillies Stakes.

Lisa Latta completed a smart piece of business when she parted with $26,000 at Karaka last year to secure a daughter of Burgundy.

Named Dijon Bleu, she was a debut winner last season for the Awapuni trainer and on Wednesday scored a hollow victory in the Listed The O'Leary's Fillies' Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui, a meeting rescheduled after heavy rain forced its abandonment last Saturday.

After five appearances, Dijon Bleu's stake earnings are now closing in on $60,000 with the promise of significantly more to come.

"There's a lot of options for her and the key will be whether she can get 1400m and further and then if we head south early," said Latta, referring to the Group I gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas.

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Dijon Bleu raced in behind the leaders to the turn before rider Jonathan Riddell angled her into the clear and, once balanced, she strode clear in the closing 200m to distance Blanco Belle, who was green in the straight, and Style By Design.

"We decided to ride her a bit cold because there was a bit of speed in the race," Latta said. "She got fired up early, but then she came back and really put paid to them in the straight."

It was the three-year-old's second appearance for the season following a solid run for third when resuming last month behind the highly-regarded Astor and the Group I performer Belle du Nord.

"The trip to Taupo has really made her," Latta said. "She has really gone forward since then and I couldn't be happier." 

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The second feature winner on the card was just as impressive and Andrew Campbell has no doubt that his gifted three-year-old Waldorf can excel over more ground and, to that end, he is setting his sights on completing a notable 1600m family double with his gifted colt.

The Opaki trainer produced the slick son of Highly Recommended for a commanding performance on Wednesday to add the Listed H.S. Dyke Wanganui Guineas (1340m) to his burgeoning record.

"He'll head to the Hawke's Bay Guineas next and then Christchurch is the plan, as long as everything continues to go so well," Campbell said.

The Group I Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) is the principal spring target for Waldorf, whose price has tumbled from $21 to $14 for the November 11 feature.

"I don't have any worries about him running a mile at Riccarton, his half-brother Timy Tyler won the Winter Cup there," Campbell said.

Waldorf drew the outside in the field of six at Wanganui and jockey Johnathan Parkes was aggressive from the outset to get to the front.

"It was a great ride – he was positive and I said to him if there's no pace then press on and he rode him beautifully," Campbell said.

Waldorf sprinted off the bend to quickly put his rivals to the sword, coasting home by five and a-quarter lengths.

"He's still got improvement in him, he's a big, burly horse," Campbell said. "I knew the track wouldn't worry him and I expected a big run."

He also shares in Waldorf's ownership with a syndicate that includes his long-time friend and stable supporter Tommy Heptinstall, who he will be in touch with later this evening.

"I'll talk to the boss tonight, he's still in England," Campbell said.

The Wanganui Guineas also provided Berkley Stud stallion Highly Recommended with a memorable black type quinella after Kirkland, who was on debut, shaded Socially Excited by the narrowest of margins for second money.

Meanwhile, Latta picked up another impressive winner earlier in the day when Sir Nate upset the hot-pot Beastmode in the first juvenile contest of the season.

The son of Nadeem had been beaten by a wide margin when they first met at the Waverley trials last month, but he turned the tables when it mattered in the Vespa standing at Wellfield Lodge two-year-old Plate (790m).

"I bought him at Karaka and syndicated him out," Latta said.

"He's a big, strong colt and there's a heap of improvement in him."

A $65,000 purchase earlier this year out of Little Avondale Stud's Select Sale draft, Sir Nate will now head to the paddock.

"We will probably give him a month off and we'd like to think we can get to the Karaka Million, although that's a long way off yet," Latta said.

– NZ Racing Desk.

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