Gifted four-year-old White Noise continued a grand season for Westbury Stud stallion El Roca when he added the time-honoured Group 3 Easter Handicap to his list of stakes achievements.
The powerful grey allayed trainer Andrew Forsman’s pre-race worries about him handling the Heavy 10 early in the contest when he travelled easily near the pace and then romped away in the straight to score by two and a-half lengths.
“It looked on paper to be his race, but when the track got so heavy I was a bit nervous whether he would handle it,” Forsman said.
“He did and he was probably one of the better performed horses in the race so it was good to see him get a win on the board as an older horse.
“To our bloke’s credit, he dug really deep and it was a great result.”
White Noise is the third stakes winner this season for El Roca, whose daughter Romancing The Moon claimed the G1 Levin Classic and the Listed Otago Breeders’ Stakes while Rockababy won the Listed O’Leary’s Fillies’ Stakes.
Multiple Hong Kong Group placegetter Lucky Patch, Old Town Road and Norwegian Bliss have also made their mark at black type level with El Roca currently fourth on the New Zealand Sires’ Premiership.
White Noise has now posted six career victories, which include successes in last season’s G3 Wellington Stakes and the Listed Gingernuts Salver.
He has also campaigned in Australia where he finished third in the Listed Sale Cup last October.
“We asked a fair bit of him in the spring and we brought him home and gave him another prep later in the year and it probably wasn’t the right thing to do,” Forsman said.
“We backed off him and gave him a break and he’s come back in really good order.”
Forsman will now discuss White Noise’s immediate future with connections and the possibility of a trip to the Queensland winter carnival.
“There’s not a lot here for him, that’s for sure, so I’ll talk to the owners about the options and see what they want to do,” he said.
White Noise had finished third under 58kg when resuming from a break at his previous appearance and stripped in prime order at Pukekohe where he was given a typically polished ride by Michael McNab.
“His run the other day was very good so I made sure I got on the phone and got on him and he was probably never in doubt from the half mile,” he said.
“He is a progressive horse in this type of race and he did a very good job. I wanted to get out and get a spot so I could dictate where I was in the field.
“Once I started tracking up coming to the bend it was pretty easy from there.”
Owned by a large syndicate that includes his breeders Mike Gatt and Matthew and Allan Fenwick, he is out of the unraced Sir Percy mare White Nymph.