The John Bateman stable went within a half-head of a winning double at the annual Nowra Cup meeting on Sunday.
WAR DECK got the day off to a winning start for Bateman when proving too strong in the 1600m Showcase Class 2 Handicap.
Ridden by the district’s premier jockey Blaike McDougall, WAR DECK landed midfield from barrier four in a fast-run contest.
The five-year-old gelding made his move at the 600m marker and wore down CALL ME ARTIE to score by a neck.
It was a deserving win for the son of DECLARATION OF WAR, having finished in the top four at six of his previous seven starts. All three of his career wins have come over a distance range of 1500m-1600m, which looks the gelding’s ideal trip despite having the pedigree of a stayer.
WAR DECK was purchased by Proven Thoroughbreds for $NZ70k at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale.
Bateman’s day almost ended on the perfect note when OUTAHAND flew home to just miss in the 1400m Showcase BM58 event.
After being briefly held up in the straight, the six-year-old gelding switched off heels at the 200m and lunged late, only to be beaten a half-head by DISTINCTIVE GLORY.