Promising galloper Need I Say More showed he will be a force to be reckoned with in the autumn juvenile classics when he dashed away with the Group 3 Waikato Stud Slipper (1200m) at Matamata.
The Jamie Richards-trained runner was having just his second start after an impressive debut performance on the same track earlier in the month but was expected to play second fiddle to his more illustrious stablemate Cool Aza Beel in Saturday’s feature for the two-year-old colts and geldings.
Fresh off his Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) victory at Ellerslie last month, Cool Aza Beel was installed a $1.40 favourite to take out the contest despite some doubts creeping in regarding his ability to handle the Slow7 track conditions that prevailed after steady rain throughout the day.
Favourite backers were happy enough early in proceedings as Cool Aza Beel stalked pacemaker Snapper with Need I Say More on his outer. Angled into the clear around the home bend Cool Aza Beel set out after Need I Say More who had dashed to the front by that stage, but despite trying hard he never looked like gaining any ground as Need I Say More kept up a powerful gallop to score by two lengths with Snapper holding on gamely for third.
“He’s definitely a nice horse and really starting to come to it now,” Richards said. “He’s needed a bit of time but he’s by a very good stallion in No Nay Never out of a Fastnet Rock mare who had a lot of success. “I don’t think the favourite (Cool Aza Beel) will lose any admirers but full credit to the big chestnut horse.”
Richards admitted that Need I Say More had been a work in progress that had tested his patience at times. “He showed absolutely nothing and was very laid back in his work,” he said. “We gelded him, put the hood on him and gave him a bit of a hurry up at the trials here one day and he really lengthened well. “He hasn’t taken a backwards step since then.” Richards advised it was likely that both of his runners would make their next appearances in the Group 1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on March 7.
Need I Say More will look to extend Te Akau Racing’s unique record in recent years with Heroic Valour (2016), Sword Of Osman (2018) and Yourdeel (2019) all having won the Ellerslie feature after taking out the Matamata race at their previous start. Purchased by Te Akau boss David Ellis for $130,000 from the Kilgravin Lodge draft at the 2019 National Yearling Sale, Need I Say More has now provided his sire No Nay Never with his first Australasian stakes winner after becoming his first winner in this region when successful on debut.