Tulsi terrific in Tauherenikau two-year-old

Race favourite Tulsi justified some inspired support when she made a successful debut at Tauherenikau on Monday.

Tulsi claims victory on debut at Tauherenikau
Tulsi claims victory on debut at Tauherenikau Picture: Race Images Photo

The Johno Benner and Hollie Wynyard-trained juvenile had won a trial in impressive fashion at Foxton last month, with punters seeing enough to install her the $2.10 favourite for the 1000m two-year-old dash, with Michael McNab aboard.

McNab bounced the filly away well but elected to take cover as the early pace was disputed by stablemates Lincoln Towers and Get Funky.

McNab swooped wide on the corner and under a vigorous ride Tulsi unleashed a powerful finishing burst to take the victory by a head from another promising debutant in No Rain Ever, who finished off nicely after clearing a pocket at the 200m.

Raced by Gary Harding after she was purchased out of the 2022 Inglis Classic Sale on his behalf by Glen Burrows Bloodstock for A$550,000, Tulsi looks to have a bright future ahead of her, an opinion shared by Benner.

"She looks and raced like a true professional, which was great to see as she was up against a field that had plenty of raceday experience," Benner said.

"She has improved after her trials and what she has done today suggests there is plenty of ability there.

"She is a very laid back filly who is built more like a colt, but I loved just how relaxed she was before the race and again when she pulled up."

Benner is keen to lift his sights for his charge who the stable had identified as a stakes contender some time ago.

"We thought we had a good one on our hands so we have taken a patient approach with her as I believe whatever she does at two, she will be even better next season," he said.

"We have just ticked her along and now she has that experience under her belt we will see how she pulls up before deciding where to next, but a race like the Sires' Produce (Gr.1, 1400m) at Awapuni is not out of the question.

"I think she will definitely get a mile as a three-year-old but for the time being we will just let her tell us how far we can go in this campaign."

Tulsi becomes the first winner for her sire The Autumn Sun, with her dam Talimena being a Lonhro half-sister to Kiamichi, the Australian Champion two-year old in 2018-19 who numbered the Gr.1 Golden Slipper (1200m) amongst her career victories.
NZ Racing News