On track for Levin Classic

Touch Win may not have won easily at Tauranga last Saturday, but his effort proved he is on track for a Group One mission.

The Roger James-trained three-year-old won the John Warren Insurance 3YO by a neck from Pouri Chimes, a stablemate of the NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas winner Rollout The Carpet. He was backed as unbeatable and punters, who took the $1.90 win dividend, had a few concerns duing the running.

Rider Andrew Calder was trapped three-wide on Touch Win and encountered a battle with the runner-up over the final stages before getting the upper hand.

“It was a good effort to win under his big weight (59kgs),” said Calder. “He’s more suited to better ground.”

Leanne Bertling, stable foreman for James, was both relieved and thrilled after Touch Win had won. “He needed to have this race today to be ready for Otaki,” she said, referring to his next mission, the Group One Levin Classic at Otaki on November 30.

Touch Win has been held in high regard by James from the outset and has now recorded three wins and a fifth from four starts. His only defeat came second-up in the Group II DHL Global Hawke’s Bay Guineas behind Sacred Falls.

In the Hastings feature he raced greenly and also copped some jostling and that resulted in James dropping him back to 1200 metres at Ellerslie at his next start. The plan was to settle him back and come with the last run and that’s exactly what happened