A deal with a difference struck with an iconic New Zealand breeder is continuing to reward Cambridge trainer Graeme Cameron.
An agreement to purchase Dusty Road as a yearling from the late Sir Patrick Hogan paid another handsome dividend at Tauranga on Saturday when the now four-year-old successfully resumed in the open handicap sprint.
It was the third victory in 10 appearances for the patiently handled son of Shamexpress, who is raced by Cameron with his wife Jacky.
A tip from fellow trainer John Bell originally led Cameron to Dusty Road after they had viewed another youngster on a Waikato farm that didn’t fit the bill.
“I get on well with John Bell and I had seen a yearling for sale on gavelhouse and we went to have a look at him, but didn’t take it,” Cameron said.
“When we were driving home we stopped off for bit of lunch and a coffee and John said he had a mate who worked for Sir Patrick and he had one for sale.
“We went and had a look and we both liked him. He had missed out on Book 1 at Karaka and only made Book 2 and Sir Patrick didn’t want any in Book 2.”
Dusty Road was destined to also be offered via gavelhouse, but a private deal was quickly made by Cameron.
“He was $4000 and I said I’ll take him, a day later I went back and handed Sir Patrick the money in a brown paper bag,” he said.
“He said he didn’t usually do deals like that, but this is one out of the box and he said I hope I’ve sold you a Might And Power and I said well that’s what I’m looking for so that’s how I got him.”
Dusty Road won twice last season before a decent spell and a trial success at Te Awamutu in August brought him a step closer to a delayed return to action at Tauranga.
“I gave him a good break and he’s come back bigger and stronger and he’s got a really good attitude. He’s neat to handle, just the perfect horse,” Cameron said.
“We were going to run him Saturday week back at Te Rapa in a Rating 75 and he was going well, but we gave him the extra week and that was a bonus and he really took off.”
“We were pretty pleased with the run and he picked that field up and put them away quickly, in a stride or two he was gone.”
Dusty Road covered extra ground by design in the hands of Jasmine Fawcett and the pre-race plan was executed to perfection.
“I told Jasmine to be out in the open and give him a good, clear run. He doesn’t like to be crowded so she rode him very well,” said Cameron, who will decide on his next move with the gelding later this week.
Dusty Road is the first foal of the Cape Blanco mare Valotia, who is a daughter of the Gr.2 Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic (2000m) winner Singalong who was also runner-up in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m).