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Courtesy of the NZ Racing Desk
Talented three-year-old gelding The Ice Knight has booked his ticket south to compete in the Gr.2 Phill Cataldo Bloodstock Wellington Guineas (1400m) at Trentham next month after his tough win in the AJC Members 1200 at Avondale today.
The Nigel Tiley-trained galloper sat midfield for the majority of the race before being set loose at the 500m mark by jockey Michael McNab.
The Iffraaj gelding went clear by two-lengths at the 150m mark and held out a late challenge from the fast-finishing Sistabeel to win by a nose.
Tiley elected to remove the blinkers from The Ice Knight in his last start maiden victory at Avondale a fortnight ago and maintained the status quo on Wednesday.
“It got a bit close at the finish,” Tiley said. “I know they have got a big opinion of the second horse. I was really happy with the way he fought back because he sort of loafed a bit when he got clear, but when the other horse came alongside him he dug pretty deep.
“I suppose we are going to have to look at going to the Guineas now at Wellington.”
“I think he has definitely improved since we took the blinkers off him. We put them on him early because he was pretty wayward. His last two runs without them have both had plenty of merit.”
Meanwhile, Tiley is looking forward to Ellerslie on Saturday where he lines up The Ice Knight’s full-sister Melt in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m).“I am really happy with her,” he said. “She looked an absolute picture this morning walking off the track.”