Golfing buddies to the fore

Five Off The Tee holding out the strong-finishing Sacred Siren at Te Aroha. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Five Off The Tee holding out the strong-finishing Sacred Siren at Te Aroha. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Auckland owner Gerard Peterson and a few of his golfing buddies got into the right swing with Five Off The Tee at Te Aroha yesterday.

Under the guidance of Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie, Five Off The Tee followed up a debut fourth at Ruakaka with a game win in the Donaghys N-Boost 1400 in the hands of Caulfield Cup-winning jockey Opie Bosson, who landed a treble at the meeting.

“It wasn’t the plan to go to the front, but Opie knew what he was doing,” said Ritchie. “Gerard has always wanted to win the New Zealand Derby and I know it’s a long way to go but this could be the horse for him.

“I nominated him for the 2000 Guineas, not that he’ll get there now, but that’s what I think of him.

“He’s by Showcasing out of a Grosvenor mare and he’s got a big action. He should be suited to going further.”

Five Off The Tee had been given three trials before his debut and showed improvement from each one with a second at Cambridge over 950 metres last month being his best result.

Yesterday’s race resulted in a Cambridge trifecta with the Tony Pike-trained Sacred Siren catching the eye when charging home for second to Five Off The Tee while Bowie, prepared by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, finished well for third.

Sacred Siren is an O’Reilly filly with plenty of scope and Pike will be aiming her at the New Zealand Oaks next March.

“She’s a lovely filly and looks an Oaks type,” said Pike. “She can have a short break now then go for a 1600-metre race. She won’t take much to get over ground.”