Promising three-year-old Tellall enhanced his credentials for some of the summer age group features when he registered his first victory at stakes level when taking out the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial 3YO (1500m) at Ellerslie.
Shooting for his third win in a row, the Tony Pike-trained gelding made light work of his 58.5kgs topweight as he produced a professional performance to down two of his well-supported female rivals in Helsinki and Fleetwood Maca.
Rider Michael McNab settled the Spill The Beans gelding on the tail of pacemaker Sweet Hunter before issuing a challenge at the top of the straight. Tellall quickly put a two-length break on the chasing pack and comfortably held that margin to the line to make it three wins from just four starts for owners John and Margaret Thompson.
Pike was happy to see his charge extend his winning record as he looks towards bigger targets in the future.
“He looks pretty progressive and very professional so it’s onwards and upwards from here,” he said.
“He has good early speed and then can switch himself off so that takes a lot of luck out of the equation.
“He is quite deceptive in that he is a big, strong individual who gets down low in his galloping action so he can give the impression there is not that much to him.
“He handled the weight well and once he got to the front it was pretty much game over at that stage.”
Pike is mindful not to overtax Tellall who holds nominations for both the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) and the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) later in the summer.
“I’ll see how he pulls up before we make any more plans for him as I do want to keep his races spaced,” he said.
“I think at this stage we will look at the Auckland Guineas (Gr.2, 1600m) at Ellerslie on New Year day and then go from there.
“He’s not really bred to get a Derby trip but it wouldn’t surprise me if he did as if they are going to run the mile and a half, they can do that as a three-year-old.”
Pike had been expecting to line up exciting two-year-old prospect Khufu for his raceday debut earlier on the card but had to scratch him on race morning after he incurred a minor muscle injury on Friday.
“He just tweaked his hamstring yesterday so we treated him and trotted him up last night and he seemed okay but when we got him out this morning, he was still feeling it so we had to scratch,” he said.
“It’s only a minor but he can have a few days off before we get serious with him again.
“There’s a race for him on Boxing Day at Ellerslie so we will look ahead to that now.
“I’m not worried about it at all as he is a horse who will go places so taking our time with him now will pay off further down the track.”
Video: Tellall comfortably holds out his rivals at Ellerslie