Globetrotting Irish bred entire Pure Champion (8h Footstepsinthesand x Castara Beach, by Danehill) claimed another feature win in New Zealand on Saturday when taking out the Group III Manawatu Challenge Stakes at Awapuni.
A Group III winner in his native Ireland and in Hong Kong, before posting a Group I win in New Zealand in September, Pure Champion recaptured his best form to win the 1400 metre contest to win by half a length.
Winning rider Craig Grylls had been criticised for his performance aboard the Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained runner when well-beaten in the Group I Captain Cook Stakes at Trentham earlier this month.
He made no mistakes this time, settling Pure Champion outside the leader and then dashing home to win well.
“We sat down and went through the tapes and I’ve got to thank Wexford Stables(O’Sullivans),” Grylls said.
“They have supported me a lot and it’s good to repay them with a win like this.
“We got the drop on the leader and he had a good kick – the old boy dug really deeply.”
Pure Champion is one of 41 stakes-winners for Footstepsinthesand.