They say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks but that isn’t necessarily true when it comes to racing. We all know that a change in trip or tactics or even a new code can help rejuvenate a horse and see them recapture their form. Teruntum Star has been a high class sprinter throughout the years but the majority of his form has come over 6f. His last win over the minimum trip was all the way back on his second career start in 2014. Teruntum certainly showed that he had the speed for 5f when he took the feature Happy 70th Birthday My Special Mum Kathie Handicap at Beverley.
Winner of the 2017 Coral Sprint, Teruntum started last season on a career high of 104. Unfortunately he couldn’t match that level of form through last season and although a few runs had excuses there were also some disappointing efforts. His best run came when chasing home his stable mate in the 2018 edition of the Coral Sprint to finish fourth. Having shown cloistering pace that day, Kevin dropped the chestnut back to 5f for his final start on the turf where he ran a cracker to fill the runner up berth.
Teruntum seemed to pick up towards the end of the season which tempted connections into an AW campaign. With his high rating and form, the finals was the plan when the AW season kicked off. He made a fine start finishing third but then failed to back that up, finishing last on his next two starts whilst also proving to be very slowly away, something that was unusual for him. Those efforts meant that he was put away for the turf and hopefully a little bit of a spark to form.
Once mid April comes around there is options almost everyday for these sprinters so Teruntum was ready to get back out on the track. Kevin opted for the 5f handicap at Beverley and once the entries came out it looked as though many had chosen to head down to Newmarket for similar races. That being said once the confirmed line up was announced the race looked like a very competitive affair despite the 6 runners. The runners all had a similar profile to Teruntum but the interesting one was set to be favourite Airshow, who was making his stable debut and held a Gr2 entry.
Kevin Stott has enjoyed plenty of success in the orange silks of owner Mr Rahman and he was back in the saddle again. It was obvious that he would like to go forwards although recent runs had just put a question mark over Teruntum getting away quickly enough. There was no need to worry as, from stall 4, Teruntum jumped well and under plenty of rousting from Kevin he got into full speed to press froward. He shared the early lead with Billy Dylan who raced along the rail and the pair forced a strong early pace. The 6 runners settled down to race in pairs and favourite Airshow sat just off the from two.
They blitzed through the first couple of furlongs as Teruntum would not give the leader a moments rest. They passed the cutaway where the track joins the main track and this took them towards the 3f marker. The pace had the small field stretched out as the front two continued to trade blows. Passing the halfway mark and there was only a nose in it as they swung around the bend which took them into the straight. Now the ground rises up and the finish provides a stiff test.
Passing the 2f marker and Teruntum had now edged to the lead, still travelling well under Stott. Having gone off hard it would be interesting to see what reserves he had left to continue up the finish. With his nearest rival now starting to wain, Kevin began to wind his mount up from the front. The chestnut started to stride on and opened up a lead as the favourite struggled to make an impression. The veteran Line of Reason was starting to finish but had plenty of ground to make up.
Between the 2f and 1f pole Kevin had nudged Teruntum along getting him to extend but once he hit the 1f marker it was all systems go. Giving his mount all the help needed, Kevin went for the line and he got plenty in return. Nothing was matching the chestnut and the further they went the stronger he looked. It was clear 150 yards from home there was only one winner and Teruntum Star powered on all the way to the line. Having almost made all, Teruntum picked up the win by a cosy 2 1/2 lengths.
Teruntum Star has long contested the tope sprints and it was great to see him get back to winning ways down in grade. He showed real vigour throughout, setting a strong pace throughout but maintaining it throughout and finishing powerfully. Obviously this win over the minimum gives him plenty more options for the season and it will be interesting to see where Kevin decides to send him next. Winning off 94 Teruntum will certainly get a rise in the weights and probably step up in grade again. The top handicaps will be on the radar and with form at the track, York could be a nice stop next time out.