Stryker 2YO Impresses on Debut
Nuggety two-year-old Not Usual Trip made the best possible start to his future racing career when he claimed victory on debut at Ellerslie on Saturday.
Warmly supported by punters off the back of a tidy performance at the Avondale trials earlier in the month, Not Usual Trip gave his supporters no cause for alarm throughout the 1200 metre contest.
Bustled to share the lead with race favourite Embellish in the early rush for positions, the Stryker colt hugged the rail around the home bend before drawing away in the closing stages to win by a comfortable 3-length margin. '
Embellish chased hard but had to settle for the runner-up spot from Ohceedee who made good ground late to grab third.
The victory was the first in a winning treble for his trainers Donna Logan & Chris Gibbs who produced Qiji Phoenix and Tavidream to take out two on the day’s feature events, the Champagne Stakes and Championship Stakes respectively, later in the programme.
“We’ve been very patient with him and he had trialled up nicely for us,” said Logan after the race.
“He’s shown us a fair bit at home although we thought the favourite was obviously the one to beat.
“He did everything perfectly and was very professional.” Logan was quick to acknowledge the work of daughter Samantha and her partner Craig Thornton who had been involved with the colt during his preparation.
“He had a little issue a while back so I sent him to Samantha and Craig down in Cambridge,” she advised. “They did a lot of work with him at the gates after he had reared up at his first trial and hit his head. “They did a good job with him. He’s had a couple more trials since then and today we got the job done.”
Three Bridges foundation sire Stryker has already made a big impression in New Zealand as the sire of New Zealand Derby winner Rangipo and Not Usual Trip may add to his reputation.
Not Usual Trip is the third winner from Fandanita (IRE) and was a $32,000 Magic Millions Adelaide purchase before being re-offered at the Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YO’s in Training Sale where he made $130,000 for Sherwood Lodge.