A comfortable victory at the Taupo trials earlier in the week indicated progressive galloper Splurge was up to the mark for his return to the track after a short break and he didn't disappoint when he gave his rivals a thorough beating in the open sprint at Te Rapa on Saturday.
Adept on all footing Splurge produced an irresistible finish in the deteriorating conditions to cruise clear in the final stages of the AON Insurance Brokers sponsored 1200 metre contest. Such was his dominance rider Opie Bosson had the luxury of easing up on his mount well before the line as he registered his 7th career win from just 11 starts.
Co-trainer Stephen Autridge, who prepares the Savabeel four-year-old with Te Akau training partner Jamie Richards, was in awe of the performance he had just witnessed.
"He is a magnificent horse with a ton of ability," he enthused.
"Everything went to plan today as he drew out and had to go back but he got a good drag into it."
Autridge admitted to some reservations before the start although not with the tricky track conditions.
"I was a little bit worried about the weight he had although I thought the ground would be no problem," he remarked.
"One thing for we know for sure is that he goes in any ground.
"When you sit back and look at it this would be one of his easiest wins."
Autridge confirmed the victory would most likely cement a Brisbane campaign for the gelding along with several other members of the Te Akau team including Gr. 2 Waikato Guineas runner-up Shocking Luck who will make his Australian debut at Ipswich on Monday.
"We're happy with Shocking Luck and provided he can handle those tight bends at Ipswich he should go well," he said.
"He needs the race and the 1500 metres is likely to be too short but he's bright and has done everything right since he's been there.
"Once he gets over 2000 metres or more he will be suited as his main aim is the Queensland Derby. He will need to win a race to make the Derby as he hasn't got enough prizemoney yet so hopefully we can tick that off as soon as possible."