Promising three-year-old Not Usual Litening opens his winning account at Te Rapa. Photo credit: Trish Dunell
A comfortable maiden victory by Not Usual Litening at Te Rapa on Saturday has co-trainer Murray Baker looking at stepping his charge up to a greater challenge in the coming weeks.
Baker, who prepares the Pins three-year-old at Cambridge with training partner Andrew Forsman, was taken by the ease of the performance that saw him comfortably hold out the challenge of stablemate Holy Mongolemperor in the opening 1400m contest on the programme.
Well supported in two unplaced runs as a two-year-old, Not Usual Litening travelled nicely in the trail throughout before responding to the urgings of rider Leith Innes as he struck the front at the 300m before going on to record a two-length victory.
Baker admitted the stable has a high opinion of the gelding, who was a $100,000 purchase from the Kilgravin Lodge draft at the 2018 Ready To Run Sale by owners Horse Feng Bloodstock.
“He was pretty well supported as a two-year-old but he just didn’t cop the slow tracks he struck in his two runs,” Baker said.
“He went a nice race first-up at Te Aroha and his performance on Saturday was very good as he travelled up nicely and then put them away quite well.
“We didn’t really have a plan with him as I just wanted to see him put it all together first so now that he has done that, I think we can lift our sights with him.”