Field Of Gold Blazes Trail in Guineas

4 February 2022

Field Of Gold holds on to win the Gr.2 Waikato Guineas (2000m).

A bold front-running performance in Wednesday’s $110,000 Group Two Legacy Lodge Waikato Guineas (2000m) at Te Rapa has earned Field Of Gold (Starspangledbanner) a chance to follow in some family footsteps in next month’s Group One New Zealand Derby (2400m).

A half-brother to the 2020 New Zealand Derby winner Sherwood Forest (Fastnet Rock), Field Of Gold was offered in Haunui Farm’s Book 1 draft at Karaka 2020. Retained by his breeders Matthew Goodson and Dianna Perron, and he has earned $176,662 to date in an eight-start, three-win career.

Wednesday’s Waikato Guineas was the first black-type victory for Field Of Gold, who had previously finished second in the Group Two Auckland Guineas (1600m) and Group Three War Decree Stakes (1600m), along with a close and unlucky third in the Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).

Rider Michael McNab took luck out of the equation on Wednesday, sending Field Of Gold straight to the lead and dictating terms in front. He began to increase the tempo coming down the side of the track, throwing down the challenge to his eight rivals.

Field Of Gold rounded the home turn with a commanding advantage, and he kicked hard in the straight and kept up a strong gallop all the way to the line to score by three-quarters of a length. Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) winner The Perfect Pink (NZ) (Savabeel) made late ground for second, with the last-start Group Two Wellington Guineas (1400m) winner Shamus (NZ) (Shamexpress) third.

“It was a nice ride by Michael,” trainer Tony Pike told NZ Racing Desk. “It looked a race that was devoid of speed. He just ran them along at a nice, even tempo.

“He kicked well straightening, and probably the best part was he was very strong past the post. From a Derby point of view, he was one of the last to pull up. It is very encouraging going forward. He is probably just hitting peak fitness, and hopefully he can emulate his brother in four or five weeks.

“He is a big, solid sort of horse, so he will definitely run in the Avondale Guineas (Group Two, 2100m) in just over two weeks and then on to the Derby.

“He has got a bit more brilliance than Sherwood Forest, who was a very dour horse that needed all of the mile and a half. This bloke has a little bit more zip about him.

“He has got a nice, high cruising speed and is very relaxed. If somebody else wants to inject some speed into a race, then he is more than happy to take a sit in behind the speed, but it is always nice with a staying three-year-old to have some tactical speed.

“He was always a good-looking horse that has continued to develop, and he is coming right at the right time. He was probably just a preparation away when he went down south. He won first-up, beating Noverre (NZ) (Savabeel) down there, and was a touch unlucky in the 2000 Guineas, but he has come back even stronger this preparation.”

Vendor Haunui Farm
Breeding Starspangledbanner – Chasing Mammon
Sale Lot 497, Karaka 2020 Book 1, Psd (Res $100,000)
Bred by Goodson & Perron Family Trust