Strikin Viking Hits The Back Of The Net

When you are named after one of the most prolific finishers in world football you do have a little bit to live up to. The Strikin Viking carries the sky blue of Middleham Park Racing, the same colour as Erling Haaland does each week. This time around it was the equine version who proved so impressive as The Strikin Viking made a big impression on debut, winning the 6f Reg Griffin Appreciation Maiden Stakes at York.

Purchased from the Guineas Breeze Ups, The Strikin Viking hailed from a top class nursery in Tally-Ho. He had breezed nicely, looked the part as a physical and seemed to have a very mature mind. All the things you look for in a 2yo who has gone through the whole breeze up scene. It also meant that he wouldn’t need to do too much before he hit the track, which is nice as Kevin always likes to give them a couple of weeks easy. This allows the horses to get over the sales without losing too much fitness and condition.

The Strikin Viking did a piece of work suggesting he was ready to hit the track and immediately York was selected as the starting point. No matter the time of year, York 2yo races are some of the best around but the Viking looked the type who could handle the occasion. Tom Eaves got the leg up and he could have hardly been happier for what came next.

Jumping well, The Strikin Viking was straight into his stride. Realistically this was the only stage of the race where he was hard pressed. Taking the lead, he took the field along, heading the favourite and more experienced rivals. Travelling in Tom’s hands, the Viking tanked along in front, showing maturity outweighing his inexperience.

By halfway The Strikin Viking had the field strung out and he was gliding through easy ground. Pestered all the way by the favourite, he set his own fractions and never got racing. Tom was always happy to let his mount bowl along in front and as they moved towards the 2f marker he had the majority in trouble. As his colleagues rowed along, Tom was motionless. The Strikin Viking was cruising on the front end and really taking the eye.

By the time they reach the 1f marker, The Strikin Viking had moved clear and Tom had to now educate him. Getting hold of the colt he drove him out, giving him a couple of flicks. The Strikin Viking quickened up and easily opened up a bigger margin. Although the race was over Tom was keen to teach his mount what was expected of him for next time out. The Strikin Viking comfortably took his debut by 2 3/4 lengths with a the rest strung out down the Knavesmire.

It was a very taking debut performance form The Strikin Viking, not just the margin of victory but his overall attitude and the way he travel throughout the contest. He was professional from the outset and then quickened when asked.

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