Pearson Square turns Colgan’s head

Pearson Square and Vinnie Colgan coasting home at Ruakaka today.

Pearson Square and Vinnie Colgan coasting home at Ruakaka today to take a positive step towards the Gr. 1 Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas.

Vinnie Colgan has ridden many top-class to impressive wins, but even he looked surprised by the manner in which Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas prospect Pearson Square opened his racing account at Ruakaka today.

The Tony Pike-trained three-year-old drew the outside, leaving Colgan with no option but to ride him positively to get on the pace. And that’s exactly what he did, but it seemed he wasn’t expecting what unfolded in the home straight.

Urged along in the early stages of the United Security Northland 1200, Pearson Square was soon across and in front on the inside rail.

He was travelling nicely approaching the home turn then Colgan clicked him up and he immediately put lengths on his nearest rivals and that is punters got an insight into how well the debutant was travelling.

Colgan is normally cool and collected and shows little emotion during his races, but this time he couldn’t resist glancing over his left shoulder looking back at the opposition. And he didn’t just do it once early in the home straight, he did it three times!

Those sideward glances assured punters of the favourite it was safe to count their winnings and Pearson Square cruised to the line with his three and a half-length winning margin flattering his 12 rivals.

“It was always going to be tough from the draw so I took bad luck out of the equation and kept going forward,” said Colgan. “The horse has got plenty of ability and Tony Pike really likes him.”

Colgan had ridden the son of Roc de Cambes in each of his three trials, which included a win over 800 metres as a two-year-old at Te Aroha last December and an effortless second over the same trip at Cambridge earlier this month.

After hardly moving a muscle on him over the final stages of the latter trial and feeling him surge to the line, Colgan knew he was well above average and would be a top ride in his debut.

As a result of today’s win, Pearson Square has had his odds for the Gr.1 Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas at Riccarton on November 5 trimmed from $81 to $21.

“He’s a big horse that was always going to benefit with a patient approach,” Pike told NZ Racing Desk. “We’ll have time for one more run and that’s likely to be over 1400 metres.

“He’ll appreciate the big roomy track at Riccarton and the step up to a mile on a good surface.”

Pearson Square is raced by a family syndicate which includes his co-breeder, Karl Mihalijevich and is from the Australian-bred Lim’s Rainbow, a daughter of Rory’s Jester.

Among the black-type performers in Pearson Square’s pedigree is the smart Australian sprinter-miler Speediness, whose best performances include a win in the Gr. 3 VRC Bobbie Lewis Handicap, seconds in the Gr. 1 George Ryder Stakes (to Gordon Lord Byron) and the Gr. 1 Toorak Handicap (to Trust In A Gust) and a third in the Gr. 1 Emirates Stakes (behind Boban).