Military Step Marches Home

Date: 14 Jan 2021

Military Step Marches Home

Returned to the scene of his easy Maiden victory, Military Step  (5 g Tavistock - Marching On, by Pentire) delivered as a favourite ($2.20) should in the Wanganui Chronicle $10,000 Rating 65 2040 metres on 14 January at Wanganui.

Backed as nigh unbeatable ($2.10) when winning his Maiden over 1600 metres by five and a half lengths on the course as a three-year-old, Military Step had only two starts at four, but three strong placed performances at his last three starts suggested a win was imminent.

After settling three back inner, rider Danielle Johnson had him spearing into contention at the 600m, travelled best turning for home, and it was all over bar the shouting at the 200m. It was both a deserved and comprehensive victory from a horse with the ability and pedigree to work through the grades.

On footing that remained Dead4 throughout the day, Military Step won by two and a quarter lengths.

“He got a nice run and it was a good strong win,” said leading trainer Jamie Richards, who advanced his season tally to 91 with a double at the meeting.

“I'd been quite happy with him at home. His work has been solid and that was the right sort of race for him to get another win on the board.

“We're hoping he can take the next step, and we'll continue to place him carefully in order to give him his best chance.

“The owners have been really patient, and although awhile between wins he has always shown enough ability to warrant going on with and he should take good confidence from the win today.”

Purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $62,500 at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale, from the draft of Seaton Park, he is the first foal of talented race mare Marching On (Pentire). A racehorse with very good ability, she impressed with an excellent turn of foot when winning three times and clearly past on those attributes.

“The owners have been very patient and the way he's raced since stepping up in distance, and the way he won day, I think they're going to be rewarded with more wins,” said Ellis, who has been busy buying at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale on the Gold Coast.

“We've bought five yearlings: one colt and four fillies,” he said. “We've bought two Fastnet Rock fillies, I Am Invincible filly, and one by Xtravagant, as well as a Fastnet Rock colt. So, we're really focussed on selling them.

“We'll be on the sales grounds next Tuesday at Karaka, doing our second inspections before the sale starts next Sunday, and with the Karaka Million meeting next Saturday, it's a very exciting time.”

While his dam showed brilliance over shorter trips, Military Step illustrated by winning at 1600 metres and again over 2040 metres that he has the pedigree and physique to stretch out over middle distances. His sire, Tavistock, has been clearly the best sire son of Montjeu (Sadler's Wells) at stud in New Zealand, and dam-sire Pentire (Be My Guest) has left Group 1 sprint winners right through to a Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner. A cross of immortal stallion Northern Dancer in his sire lines also adds to the stamina in his pedigree.

Military Step was strapped by Katija Cherrie.


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