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Patrick Erin brilliant in Wellington Cup warm-up

26 December 2017, 4:49 p.m.

The Gr. 3 Wallaceville Estate Wellington Cup (3200m) is the focus for Patrick Erin after an impressive Boxing Day win at Wingatui.

The Gallant Guru gelding unleashed a breath-taking finishing burst under top jockey Chris Johnson to confirm a trip to Trentham.

Patrick Erin Photo: Wild Range Photography

Trained at Wingatui by Brian and Shane Anderton, the six-year-old has an impressive 10 wins from 20 starts record.

Motorbike Mike was in full flight and apparently heading for victory while Patrick Erin was caught in traffic with around 150m to the winning post in the KB Contractors Handicap (2200m).

Johnson didn’t panic, hooking off heels and setting off in pursuit.

“When he got clear he sprinted well,” Shane Anderton said. “It was good to see.

“He’ll go straight to the Cup now and Chris (Johnson) said he was pretty strong to the line and he had trouble pulling him up.”

Johnson is expected to stick with Patrick Erin for the Trentham feature on January 20 with TAB odds-setters tightening him from $9 into $8.

Sensei confirmed plans for bigger assignments with his win under Johnson in the Speight’s 2&3YO (1200m).

The Michael and Matthew Pitman-trained three-year-old son of Dream Ahead over-raced early in the race before settling.

The handsome colt knuckled down in the straight to reel in and move clear of The Sparkler with Kiwi Ida closing hard late for third.

The winner of four from 11 will now head north for the Gr. 1 Grant Plumbing Levin Classic (1600m) on January 13 or the Gr. 1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) a week later. – NZ Racing Desk.