Courage Under Fire-sired superstar Turn It Up has the upcoming Auckland 4YO features at his mercy, after doing the impossible at Addington on Friday, April 5.
Turn It Up, having his first race-start for three months, bettered 4:00 over 3200m on a rain-affected track to win the Group One $98,000 Breckon Farms/All Stars Racing Stables Easter Cup.
Co-trainer and driver Mark Purdon was in awe of the lightly-raced pacer after he found just enough to hold last year's Easter Cup winner, A G's White Socks, by a head, with NZ Cup winner Thefixer, two lengths back third.
Turn It Up, an Australian-bred son of Courage Under Fire and a Western Ideal mare in O Narutac Bella, became the third fastest Easter Cup winner, in far from favourable conditions.
He ran the 3200m in 3:58.3 (a 1:59.8 mile rate), a time only bettered in the race by former Australasian Grand Circuit champion Christen Me of 3:57.2 in 2015, and by two-time NZ Cup winner, Monkey King, who went 3:58.2 in his second consecutive Easter Cup win in 2009.
Again, Turn It Up showed impeccable manners, working to the front, then trailing Henry Hubert.
Despite his lack of racing for three months, he kept giving when asked for maximum effort inside the final 100m.
Purdon simply said it's unheard of what he (Turn It Up) has done.
After winning twice and finishing second in only three appearances last term, Turn It Up has virtually swept all before him this term, winning seven of eight starts, and running second to Cruz Bromac in the Group One NZ Free-For-All in the other.
Despite being a newbie to the open class scene, he went on to win the Group Two Franklin Cup in December, followed by the Group One Trillan Trust Auckland Cup on December 31, and the Group Two McMillan Equine Feed Waikato Flying Mile on January 11.
Turn It Up now has the luxury of stepping back to four-year-old racing in the $100,000 Waste Management Taylor Mile at Auckland on April 26, and the $100,000 Dawson Hardford & Partners NZ Messenger at Auckland on May 3.
Barring bad luck, he will also be a dominating favourite for the $150,000 Harness Jewels 4YO Emerald, to be run at Addington June 1.