North Island raiders Beauden and Hypnos fought out a thrilling finish to the feature event at Riccarton on Saturday, the Group 3 Coca Cola Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m).
The team Rogerson-trained Beauden was sent out a hot favourite for the contest off the back of an effortless win in the Group 2 Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) earlier in the month.
However, Cambridge visitor Hypnos wasn’t about to hand over the victory without a fight with last year’s Group 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) winner tracking the favourite every step of the way.
Regular rider Ryan Elliot provided Beauden with a comfortable run behind the pace throughout before making a lightning move to attack for the lead with 600m to run.
Vinnie Colgan aboard Hypnos followed hard on his heels and the pair squared off early in the run home to fight it out in the concluding stages.
Neither horse was prepared to give an inch, with Beauden maintaining a long neck advantage over Hypnos for the final 300m to take out the race and register career win number 12 for owner/breeder Joan Egan.
“He’s a beauty this horse,” co-trainer Graeme Rogerson said.
“He didn’t really handle the track that well as it was quite shifty, but he dug in and still kept them all out.
“It was a beautiful ride from Ryan, who knows him so well, as he gave him such a quiet trip and then put the pressure on at just the right time.
“That second horse is no mug and it was a decent scrap to the finish, but our horse was all class at the end.”
Rogerson is keen to take Beauden to Melbourne in the spring but will sit down with Egan later in the week to discuss any future plans.
“Michelle (Northcott) is bringing him back on Tuesday, so once he is back home and he has had a couple of days off we can work out what to do with him next,” he said.
“I know where I would like to be in the spring, but it is Joan’s decision and we obviously have a lot to look at with him.
“He’s rising seven but is just getting better and better.”
Beauden is out of the Zeditave mare Belle Femme and comes from an extended family that includes former champion two-year-old Flying Babe.
He has now won twelve of his 37 starts and over $406,000 in prizemoney.