No Need overcomes the odds

No Need (Sam Spratt) unleashing his irresistible run down the outside to record an impressive debut win. (Photo: Kenton Wright).

No Need (Sam Spratt) unleashing his irresistible run down the outside to record an impressive debut win. (Photo: Kenton Wright).

Cambridge trainer Lee Somervell’s high regard for No Need was put to the test when the three-year-old debuted at Te Aroha yesterday.

Somervell was quietly confident going into the Big Micks Underground Takeways 1200 that No Need would acquit himself well, but both he and jockey Sam Spratt had given up hope of a debut win as the field broke from the barriers.

No Need leapt in the air as the gates opened and was six lengths last on settling and was still four lengths behind the second-last horse after 500 metres. He tacked onto the last horse at the 600 metres at which stage Spratt quickly changed her plan of attack.

“After what happened at the start I thought I’d just ride for luck (and attempt gaps through the field) but when I gave him a slap he picked up the bit and I decided to let him go around them,” she said.

No Need was still among the tailenders on straightening for the run home but unleashed a big run down the outer to hit the front inside the final 150 metres.

“He actually floated around the last 100 and I was worried he would get beaten, but he was too good,” said Spratt. “It was a big effort. He looks pretty smart.”

Somervell trains No Need for Te Aroha owners John O’Flaherty and Jan McGiven and immediately took a shine to the son of No Excuse Needed when he entered his stable.

“He has shown plenty and I think he’s a very good horse,” said Somervell after the exciting win. “He’s got a terrific turn of foot and what he did today was special.

“I said to my wife Nell last week that maybe we could have two in the Derby, Stradavarius and this horse. I’ve worked him with Stradavarius and he’s gone well.”

No Need went into yesterday’s race with a trial at Cambridge earlier this month under his belt. “In the trial he was struggling in the heavy ground,” said Spratt. “He liked the better track today.”

Stradivarius also stepped out at Te Aroha yesterday when doing an exhibition gallop between races with stable star Addictive Habit and, though overshadowed by the Group Two winner, he remains on track for the Hawke’s Bay Guineas.