Ruakaka trainer Donna Logan's judgment proved spot on when she labelled progressive intermediate galloper Command Royale as one of the best chances on the card at her local meeting on Saturday.
Logan and training partner Chris Gibbs produced three winners on the day with Command Royale's performance suggesting there is plenty more in store for the three-year-old. The well-deserved victory came off the back of a pair of eye-catching performances at Te Rapa which had punters quick to install him a hot favourite for the rating 75 1200 metre event.
His backers had little cause for concern as rider Cameron Lammas bounced him into a handy position from an inside barrier where he received the run of the race throughout. Angled to the inside rail for his finishing burst the Court Command gelding dashed through a yawning gap at the 200 metre mark to strike the front. From there he comfortably fended off all challenges including an eye-catching run out wide from the Tony Pike trained runner-up Rose Imperial.
Logan had a twinkle in her eye as she answered questions after the race.
"It's always good to beat that Tony Pike who I know is on holiday over in Rarotonga at the moment," she laughed.
"He's a very promising horse and this is great for his owners over in Brisbane as they've just had a baby."
Logan admitted she had fielded several offers for the horse in recent weeks but his owners had rejected them for the time being.
"There have been some offers for him but they said let's keep him and race him today," she said.
"I like the horse as he's shown us a lot and I think he's got a bit of a future.
"He's not going to go on wet tracks so he will stick around here for the time being but I do think he will get a little further so it's very encouraging."
She was also quick to praise the performance of Lammas who produced a copybook display.
"It was a beautiful ride as we had asked him to see if he could get two or three back on the fence from the barrier," she explained.
"We knew there would be a lot of speed on and Cameron rode him a treat."
Earlier in the day the team had produced I See Red to win the opening race on the card before Toorak Toff made it a double in race 4 as he topped off stablemate Marquees Of to complete a stable quinella.