Patience is beginning to be rewarded for the connections of rising star Von Tunzelman, who scored his first stakes win in this afternoon’s Listed Marks Ewen & Associates Kaimai Stakes at Matamata.
Making just the 10th start of his career, the four-year-old Zabeel gelding produced a booming finish from well back in the field in the 2000-metre event.
Von Tunzelman burst to the front 300 metres from home and looked set to win by a wide margin before the fast-finishing Oaks winner Fanatic pushed him to half a length at the line.
Trained by Roger James for owner-breeders Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Von Tunzelman has now won four races and just under $70,000 in prize-money. Today’s win followed an unlucky second in the Hamilton Cup at Te Rapa on February 4.
“He’s had four runs over further than a mile now and you could make a case that he should have won all four,” James said. “We’ve been pretty patient with him and we’re starting to reap the rewards of that now.
“I thought he was at the top of his game today. This is a bit of a silly thing to say, because it was his first time in a black-type race and his toughest test to date, but I would have been disappointed if he hadn’t won. His work on Tuesday was the work of a real top-liner.”
James won this race in 2011 with The Party Stand, who two weeks later stepped up to Group One level and won the New Zealand Stakes at Ellerslie. He will not try to repeat that trick with Von Tunzelman.
“I’ve got a few thoughts, but let’s see how he comes through the run before we decide anything,” he said. “It won’t be anything big just yet. Maybe some lower-grade races in Australia.”
Von Tunzelman, named after Brendan Lindsay’s grandfather’s surname, is out of the Lindsays’ quality mare J’adane. Named after Jo Lindsay, the Danehill mare recorded just one win in her career but finished a half-head behind Princess Coup when second in the Gr. 1 Kelt Capital Stakes. She also placed in the Gr. 1 Mudgway Partsworld Stakes and Winter Stakes, Gr. 2 Wakeful Stakes and the Gr. 3 Dane Ripper Plate and BTC Classic.
- The Informant