FORTUNA 3yo KING SAVINSKY wins at Rotorua 6th January

KING SAVINSKY wins stylishly at Rotorua
by Jeff Dore

King Savinsky in work

Backed as if unbeatable, and rightly so given his form, King Savinsky(3 g Savabeel – Lynisky, by Stravinsky) delivered the desired result in the Mills Reef Winery & Restaurant Maiden 1950 metres on Jan. 6 at Rotorua, and in doing so gave the trainer and jockey combination, Jason Bridgman and Matt Cameron, their third success for the day.

Each on top of their game, leading their respective premierships, with Bridgman having already gained 45 wins this season, and Cameron 73 in the saddle, the duo made the seven-race programme their own with additional dominant wins by the promising debutante Equanimity (More Than Ready) and the strapping newbie Rapid Gain (Flying Spur).

Purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis for $90,000 at the 2012 NZB Select Yearling Sales, from the draft of Phoenix Park, and owned the Fortuna King Savinsky Syndicate (managed by John Galvin), King Savinksy rated as one of the best Maidens in the country given his form in stakes races and the stakes victories around him.

At his previous start he ran home solidly for fourth on Dec. 15 in the Championship Prelude (Listed, 2100m) at Ellerslie, with the second placed horse Show The World (High Chaparral) going on to win the Championship Stakes (Gr. 2, 2100m). Prior to, he finished sixth to subsequent Royal Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m) winner Rising Romance (Ekraar) in the Trevor Eagle Memorial (Listed, 1500m) at Ellerslie. And with form behind subsequent 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) winner Atlante (Fastnet Rock) in the Canterbury Stakes (Listed, 1600m) at Riccarton, and Great Northern Guineas (Gr. 2, 1600m) winner Puccini (Encosta De Lago) when second to him at Taupo, he was clearly the one to beat.

Starting at the top of the straight, King Savinsky was sent forward to take up a handy position in fourth. Nicely poised at the 600 metres and unimpeded when staking his claim around the home turn he stayed on in good fashion to win by three-quarters of a length.

“I think we should give the credit to Jason (Bridgman) for his ability to analyse the horse’s racing pattern and he made the decision to bring him back to a weaker grade and take the blinkers off,” said Fortuna boss John Galvin. “The form around him had been very good and the horses finishing in front had all been performing, and at times he had not quite been doing everything right – changing legs in the run for example. But today he was very relaxed and I was interested to note that he never gawked around in the straight, whereas in the past, even with blinkers on, he was keen to look around.

“So, I think Jason might have worked the oracle by ironing out that little wrinkle,” said Galvin. “It’s a fantastic syndicate of owners and I think there was eighteen including myself there today; they travelled from all over the country to come and watch him race.

“One of my questions to Matt (Cameron) after the race was: ‘is he still a Derby contender’? And he said ‘yes, for sure’. So I guess races like the Waikato Guineas (Gr. 2, 2000m) [Feb. 1 at Te Rapa] or Avondale Guineas (Gr. 2, 2100m) [Feb. 15 at Ellerslie] are still on his agenda,” said Galvin.

“Obviously, bringing him back from good company to Maiden company and he wins by a length, but he did win strongly, on a track that doesn’t really suit him, it’s a bit hard to gauge the quality, hence my question to Matt. We have pitched him into the deep end several times before, so I don’t see any reason why we should stop doing so when we’re only seven weeks away from the Derby [$750,000 NZ Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) March 1 at Ellerslie]. So, we need to keep pressing on in good company and let him tell us whether he’s up to the grade or not. He is a dead-set staying type and I think a Dead4 or 5 would suit him better for sure but there have been more wet Derbies than dry Derbies in recent years,” said Galvin.