Cambridge boosts Karaka Million chances

Padraig (Matt Cameron) overcoming his inexperience to win convincingly at Trentham today.

Padraig (Matt Cameron) overcoming his inexperience to win convincingly at Trentham today.

Cambridge youngsters Padraig and Felton Road have emerged as serious Karaka Million contenders.

The pair were successful in their respective two-year-old contests at Trentham and at Ellerslie today to book their berths in the country’s richest juvenile event on January 29.

Wellington Provedoring Premier winner Padraig is trained by Brendon Hawtin while Felton Road, who was too good in the Countdown to Karaka 2017, is prepared by Tony Pike.

Padraig settled off the pace and the son of Power, though racing greenly, unwound strongly to win going away under jockey Matt Cameron.

“The horse is just going from strength to strength and it was a 10 out of 10 ride from Matt,” said Hawtin. “When he pushed the button he had plenty of horse and there’s more improvement in him.

“He went really well first time out as well when he got a fair way back and made up a lot of ground. He’s ticking all the boxes.”

Felton Road (Leith Innes) maintining his unbeaten record at Ellerslie today.

Felton Road (Leith Innes) maintining his unbeaten record at Ellerslie today.

Despite showing his inexperience at Trentham, Padraig still had a length and a half to spare on the filly Dreams Of Platinum with the debutante Santuzza third ahead of the southerner Sensei.

“He’s a beautiful, big horse – he’s not a natural two-year-old and he still got the job done nicely,” said Cameron. “I won’t be getting off this one.”

Padraig had finished third on debut last month behind Felton Road, who impressively overcame a wide gate at Ellerslie today to maintain his unbeaten record.

“That was good to see the form franked at Wellington and my horse had trained on well,” said Pike.

Felton Road, a son of Pins, had improved with each of his three trials before his successful debut over 1200 metres at Ellerslie on December 29.

– NZ Racing Desk.