A never-say-die, front-running effort from The Intimidator paved the way for the progressive three-year-old to score a deserved stakes victory with a win in the Listed Mufhasa Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa.
The rugged son of Toronado had been freshened by trainer Andrew Forsman after a going a huge race for fifth behind Prowess in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) back in January and was expected to take improvement out of his resuming run.
Rider Wiremu Pinn bounced him straight to the front from barrier eight and after nothing else was keen on leading, he set up a muddling speed in front.
2023 Listed Mufhasa Stakes – The Intimidator
Forsman has the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) as the next major assignment for his charge and was delighted to see him indicate he will be tough to topple in the Trentham feature on March 18.
“He got around to the barriers and started to have a bit of a think,” Forsman said.
“He stood there for awhile and then came out really fresh and led, which wasn't the plan as we wanted to ride him with a bit of cover.
“We thought he was a big chance going to Trentham over the mile in a couple of weeks but Wiremu didn't really have a choice but to put him there (in front).
“He cuddled him up as best he could and he fought really hard.”
Forsman admitted the strapping individual is still not the finished product and expects exciting things from him when he does mature.
“He has heaps of ability and I'm going to love the day he finally figures it all out,” he said.
“One day he will draw well, take a sit in behind them and we will see the best of him.”
Purchased by bloodstock agent Stuart Hale for $160,000 out of Inglewood Stud's 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft at Karaka, The Intimidator has now won three of his seven starts and over $129,000 in prizemoney.
Raced by Alistair Sutherland, Barry Mathews, Mark Ryan, Darrin Collett & Tony Martin, The Intimidator is out of Written Tycoon mare Ty Dash and comes from an extended family that includes smart performers Masthead and Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1600m) winner Sizzling.