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Heavens Keep too slick at Hastings

22 October 2017, 3:27 p.m.

A bold front-running performance has seen Awapuni galloper Heavens Keep score a handsome victory at Hastings.

Successful in a similar race on the last day of the Hawkes Bay carnival 12 months earlier, the seven-year-old Savabeel gelding lived up to the pre-race confidence of trainer and part-owner Lucy Tanner as he bolted home by just over a length in the rating 85 1600 metre contest.

Heavens Keep Photo: Trish Dunell

“I was very pleased with the run and delighted with the ride,” said Tanner after the event.

“I was a little worried after declaring we would try to take a sit on him before the race. But Tim (Johnson) did nothing wrong, he rode the horse well and I had hoped he could finish in the top three so we could make some plans for him.

“I’d dearly love to get him up over a bit of ground so we will just have to see after today. He enjoys his racing and now he has got to the tracks that he likes you will see the real horse.”

Apprentice rider Johnson left nothing to chance as he bounced Heavens Keep to a clear lead from barrier rise and kept the pressure on throughout. The combination snuck a handy break approaching the home corner and had plenty in hand as they defied the late challenges of Camino Rocoso and Travimyfriend, who both made good ground late in the piece.

“He’s been going good races but has just been waiting for a good track,” noted Johnson.

“He’s the sort of horse that you have to let do his own thing. If you try and fight him he doesn’t like it and today he just wasn’t going to back down.”

The win was the seventh in a 40 race career to date for Heavens Keep who has now earned just over $131,000 in prizemoney. - NZ Racing Desk