Swords Drawn Gets His Day in the Sun

19 April 2022

Swords Drawn claims the $85,000 Listed Power Farming Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m) at Hastings. Photo: Race Images.

After playing several supporting roles in feature staying races throughout the New Zealand calendar, Swords Drawn (Camelot) broke through for a richly deserved win in Saturday’s $85,000 Listed Power Farming Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m) at Hastings. 

Bought for $140,000 by co-trainer Shaune Ritchie from the draft of Cambridge Stud at the 2017 Premier Sale, the gelding has earned $301,550 in a 34-start career that has produced six wins and 10 placings.

Saturday’s first stakes success sits alongside his previous placings in the Group Three Wellington Stakes (1600m) and Listed 3YO Salver (2100m), and he has also finished fourth in a Wellington Cup (3200m), fifth in an Auckland Cup (3200m), seventh in a Taranaki Cup (2000m) and eighth in a City of Auckland Cup (2400m).

“He deserved to win a stakes race, because he has been thereabouts in these types of races before,” said Ritchie, who trains in partnership with Colm Murray.

“You always worry when they are having their first run after a two-mile race, but luckily he didn’t have a real gut-buster in the Auckland Cup, and a wee while in the paddock did him the world of good.”

Patiently ridden by Joe Kamaruddin, Swords Drawn settled well back in the field before unleashing a strong, sustained and unstoppable finish out wide in the Hastings straight. The favoured Leaderboard (Street Cry) had gone clear and looked the winner, but Swords Drawn swallowed him up and swept past to score by three-quarters of a length.

“He has a terrific record at Hastings, with three wins from six starts now, and I thought it was also a tremendous ride by Joe,” Ritchie said. “He tracked up behind Leaderboard and then popped off his back to run him down in the last bit.

“We’ve got the horse just right now, and he likes to have his races spaced, so we might have to consider something in Australia next.

“I don’t think he is a true two-miler, so a race like the Andrew Ramsden (Listed, 2800m) at Flemington next month might be a good target, or maybe a mile and half in Sydney on the wet tracks they are getting there.”

A half-brother to the dam of multiple stakes winner Vigor Winner (Declaration Of War), Swords Drawn is also closely related to the big-race performers and sires Onemorenomore and Dr Green.

Vendor Cambridge Stud
Purchaser Mr SF Ritchie (Cambridge)
Breeding Camelot – Sarvon
Sale Lot 383, 2017 Premier Sale, $140,000
Bred by Mr RA Emery