Road to the Jericho Romp for Dragon Storm (NZ)

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Dragon Storm (NZ) wins the NZB Airfreight Road to the Jericho (3000m) .

Ruakaka raider Dragon Storm (NZ) (Shocking) lived up to his stamina-stacked pedigree with a powerful performance in the $30,000 NZB Airfreight Road to the Jericho (3000m) at Riccarton Park on Saturday. 

The Karaka graduate is a son of two-time Auckland Cup (3200m) winner Prize Lady (NZ) (Prized), while his sire Shocking won the Melbourne Cup (3200m) in 2009. Dragon Storm had previously shown bright promise over staying distances, including an eye-catching fifth in the Wellington Cup (3200m) in January of this year. But the six-year-old’s dominant performance on Saturday was another big step forward.

Ridden by Craig Grylls, Dragon Storm settled into a smooth rhythm in midfield, and he was travelling better than any of his dozen rivals coming up to the home turn.

Grylls asked him to quicken in the straight and Dragon Storm charged clear, opening up a commanding margin of five lengths and making the southern mission well worthwhile for trainers Chris Gibbs and Michelle Bradley.

“He was very dominant,” Gibbs told NZ Racing Desk. “I knew he’d get the distance, but it was really whether anything else could come up and grab him once he got to the front in the straight. He had them all well covered in the end.”

Bought for $55,000 at the 2016 Premier Sale and $150,000 at the Ready to Run Sale later that year, Dragon Storm has now had 22 starts for four wins, four placings and $70,575 in stakes for owners A C Consultant And Investment Ltd, C Y Chen, Karaka Mews Development Ltd & Pegasus Bloodstock Ltd.

Saturday’s race was the second of two Jericho Cup qualifying heats staged in New Zealand. The first heat was run at New Plymouth last month and won by Master Fin (NZ) (Nom du Jeu). The winner of each race receives a guaranteed start in the A$300,000 Jericho Cup (4600m) at Warrnambool on November 29.

As sponsors, NZB Airfreight offers a $5,000 equine airfreight credit for the winner of each qualifying race, should they decide to travel across the Tasman and contest the Jericho Cup.

However, Dragon Storm also has the $250,000 Group Three Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton on November 14 on his radar.

“It’s a nice problem to have, as he has probably guaranteed himself a start in the New Zealand Cup as well as the Jericho,” Gibbs said.

“I will have a talk to the owners on Monday once we see how he pulls up. My initial thought is that we push on to the New Zealand Cup as he is in good form, he likes the track and the money is good, so we’ll go there and worry about the other race after that.”


Premier Sale: Wentwood Grange

Ready to Run Sale: Mana Park


Premier Sale: NZB as agent (Auckland)

Ready to Run Sale: Kylin Horse Group (NZ) (Auckland)


Shocking – Prize Lady


Lot 27, 2016 Premier Sale, $55,000


Lot 430, 2016 Ready to Run Sale, $150,000

Bred by

J C Wallis