Run over 1400m on February 11, 2017 at Te Rapa
Trainer: E & J Rayner
Jockey: J Parkes
Track Conditions: Good(3)
Race Club: Waikato RC
Then came: Natuzzi, Saracino, Heroic Valour, Kawi, Alexander Pope, Sofia Rosa, Brighton, Mighty Solomon, La Luna Rossa, Perfect Fit, Signify, Watch This Space
At Te Rapa in New Zealand, lightly raced 6YO gelding Start Wondering (Eighth Wonder-Roseanbar, by Akbar) confirmed his status as the new king of New Zealand sprinting when scoring by a head for trainers Evan & J.J.Rayner in the $200,000 Gr1 NRM Sprint (1400m) for 3YO+, over 8YO gelding Natuzzi (Coats Choice-Monsanto, by Kilimanjaro) & 3YO colt Saracino (Per Incanto-Bella Daniela, by O'Reilly). By beautifully bred stallion Eighth Wonder (Zabeel-Diamond Lover, by Sticks and Stones), Start Wondering advanced his record to 10 wins (including the Gr1 Railway Stakes & Listed Sprint Handicap) and 4 placings (including the Gr1 Telegraph) from 18 starts for $503,318 Earnings. Since his return from Sydney following a bleeding attack, Start Wondering has won three of his five starts, including the Gr1 Railway Stakes and he only failed by a nose to also claim the Gr1 Telegraph, reports NZ Racing Desk. "He's a very good horse and it was another very good ride," said Evan Rayner, who prepares the gelding for his Wanganui owner Steve Gudsell. "I trained for his uncle nearly 50 years ago!" Rayner wouldn't be drawn on Start Wondering's next target, although the Gr1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic at Otaki in a fortnight's time is the most likely.