Ardee Boy Impresses On Debut

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  • July 10, 2023
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Stylish trial winning two-year-old Ardee Boy lived up to his private reputation with an eye-catching debut victory at Awapuni.

The Peter Didham-trained galloper had looked a handy prospect on winter footing when winning over 1000m at the Foxton trials last month and was confidently supported on the tote ($3.90) to start his career with success on Saturday.

Allowed to stride to the front from barrier six by apprentice Toni Davies, Ardee Boy appeared to have the situation well under control throughout as he kicked hard on the home bend before fending off a late challenge by fellow debutant Crickets Chirping to win by a neat length.

Didham had gone into the race with a degree of confidence following the trial win and another at the local jumpouts by his charge who looks to have a future ahead of him as he matures into his 16.2 hand frame.

“He really is a lovely horse, a good-looking boy who stands over a fair bit of ground and has a very good action,” Didham said.

“He won his trial three seconds faster than the other two-year-old heat that day and when he won at the jumpouts, he went two seconds faster than the open-class gallopers.

“That gave me plenty of confidence and when he got across to lead pretty easily, I knew he would be very hard to beat.”

Didham was also delighted for the large group of owners involved with the son of Waikato Stud resident stallion Ardrossan, after outlaying $50,000 to purchase him from the Stud’s Book 1 draft at the 2022 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale at Karaka.

“He is owned by a syndicate of twelve including Bill Foster who I purchased him for at Karaka,” he said.

“Bill and Tineke (Balcombe) put the syndicate together and I think they are in for a fun ride.

“Bill has a share in Legarto as well, so I’ve told him he must be a very lucky omen.

“Being out of a Zabeel mare you have to think he is only going to get better as he matures and grows into himself.

“For that reason, we’re in no hurry with him and will let him tell us how he is feeling after the run today before we think about where to next.

“I think he will also handle the firmer tracks, so the goal will be to get him to stakes company as a three-year-old, with the knowledge that if we were to strike bad ground in a race at that level, he could be well suited as opposed to some of his rivals.”

Ardee Boy is the son of Zabeel mare Dee I Why, who is also the dam of the five race-winning mare Shoshone.

Dee I Why is listed as one of the feature lots in the National Breeding Stock Sale that closes on Wednesday 12 July.

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