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Promising 3YO picture perfect

20 September 2017, 4:39 p.m.

Xbox cut the prettiest of pictures on Wednesday for equine photographer Trish Dunell.

The three-year-old was bred by the recent Media Award winner at New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing’s Horse of the Year evening and she was on hand at Te Rapa to capture his runaway win in the Flagstaff Café & Sports Bay 1100m.

Xbox Photo: Trish Dunell Photograpy

An $85,000 purchase at the 2016 Ready to Run Sale out of Kilgravin Lodge’s draft, Xbox is the second winner for Niagara and Dunell has remained in the ownership of the gelding, who is from the family of the dual stakes winner Waldorf.

“I was a bit nervous, it was a very strong field and I hadn’t done a lot with him,” said trainer Graham Richardson, who prepares Xbox at Matamata with Gavin Parker.

“I thought he might have needed it, but he won well and Jason (Waddell) is a lovely, balanced rider so it was great.”

Xbox settled close to the pace and when he was asked for an effort by Waddell 250 metres out he sprinted clear to have three and a-quarter lengths on the favourite Karisto at the post.

“The horse has got a fantastic action and I think he’s good enough to be looking at black type races,” Richardson said.

Xbox had finished third in his first appearance on his home track in July, with that effort coming off the back of a fourth placing in an Avondale trial that failed to tell the full story.

“He could have won by miles, he just couldn’t get out,” Richardson said. – NZ Racing Desk.