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24th Jun: The Saturday Racing Review
Published: 24 Jun 2017 - - Author: Newsroom

It has been a great day's racing and here we look over some of the highlights:

Kiwifruit Cup time at Tauranga, and Amberley’s day at Riccarton

Racing took place on Heavy11 tracks at Tauranga, where Pacorus took out the Kiwifruit Cup and at Riccarton with the running of the Amberley club’s race day.  

Chris Wood’s team celebrates in Kiwifruit country

Pacorus won his ninth race from 30 starts when he took out the $40,000 Orora Kiwi Packaging Kiwifruit Cup over 2100 metres.  Running as favourite, Pacorus was wide behind the leaders early, before making his move 700 metres out and challenging his competion to catch him if they could. It was a bold ride by Viktoria Gatu, and Pacorus was clear of Doiknowyou and Gentil Tonton at the finish.

Trainer Chris Wood was quick to credit Viktoria for her ride. “I’m thrilled for horse and rider.” This was Victoria’s eight win on the Tavistock gelding. “He’s my number one”, the happy jockey said on dismounting.  Viktoria, who hails from Sweden, joined Chris’s stable as an apprentice in 2012 and has ridden 64 career winners in New Zealand.

Chris trained back-to-back race winners when Wooden Edge came from the rear to score in the Aongatete Cool Stores Limited 1400 Rating 75. He was ridden by Stephen Marsh’s apprentice Hairi Marzuki, recording his fourth win in his shortcareer.  Again Chris praised his jockey for the ride, and the horse must take credit too for his sustained run from well back to pick up the leaders.

Kamakaze Rebel Breaks Maiden Ranks Fresh Up

Saturday racing opened at Tauranga with Kamakaze Rebel earning a deserved win in the Christmas at the Races Book Now Maiden. Having his first start on a heavy track, there was no shortage of confidence amongst punters who sent the Alamosa gelding out a strong favourite.  It was special win for jockey Cameron Lammas and wife Tracey who trains the horse.  Cameron rode wearing a black armband in memory of Tracey’s father who passed away earlier in the week. 

“I thought he might have needed the run but he’s tough and tries his hardest,” said Cameron after the race. Kamakaze Rebel was having his first start since New Year’s Day, after his first campaign of eight races where he never finished further back than fourth and close up in some strong stakes races.  He handled the track nicely to score by a short neck from Imblaze.

Art Deco Gets Pick Six Under Way in Style

Race 4 at Tauranga was the Rating 85 GPS-it Precision Land Mapping 1200, taken out in impressive style by Art Deco. The ultra-consistent mare by the Wellfield stallion Road To Rock took an unconventional heavy-track route coming into the straight. Alfred Chan (pictured) steered her inside improving runners from where she asserted her authority to go on to win by nearly four lengths.

Alfred commented later that he’d found the pace in the running a bit hotter than he’d hoped. But he showed fine judgement in giving Art Deco every opportunity to make up considerable ground. The mare didn’t disappoint and in the end was just too good.


Local trainer gets on the board early at Tauranga

In Race 2 at Gate Pa, the Rating 85 Capital Tractors Tauranga 1600, Adriatic Pearl scored in the familiar pink & white colours of trainer Jim Pender. Settling last behind the pace made by rising 13yo John Gray, Adriatic Pearl came from last in the hands of Trudy Thornton to win narrowly from Arzac, runner-up in his third race in a row.

It was Adriatic Pearl’s fifth win from just 19 starts, and Jim has high wintertime hopes for the Zed mare going forward. “She is underrated, and I have been looking ahead at black type races for her,” said Jim in the birdcage after the race. “I think she’ll go well in a winter cup.”

John Gray, winner of his first race nine long winters ago, battled on to take fourth place and once more earn a stake for his owners.

Irish Express keeps punters waiting

In the TWS 2YO at Riccarton, supporters of hot favourite Irish Express would have been a little concerned at the 200 metres mark as the horse was battling away behind the leaders.  But frowns turned to smiles as the winning post loomed and the Ekraar gelding got his mind on the job under the urgings of Chris Johnson to win by a neck from Ajay Tee . 

Irish Express paid just $1.50 on the back of victory in a similar Riccarton race two weeks earlier for his Gore trainer Ellis Winsloe.  

The win took Johnson’s season riding tally to 105, which he will carry into his enforced break from racing while he sits out a four-day suspension applied at Pukekohe on Wednesday. His closest challenger remain Danielle Johnson on 93 wins. 

Miss Three Stars Shines Brightly in Amberley Cup

Riccarton’s feature the $30,000 Amberley Cup went to last year’s Winter Cup winner Miss Three Stars.  The mare by Perfectly Ready lumped 60kg to defeat a small but even field. Ridden by Samantha Wynne, the Tommy Beckett-trained Miss Three Stars showed her class as a winter galloper. She came from last in the running to score by four lengths . That was her 11th career win and it took her earnings to over $300,000.

Two more tyro jockeys tasting success

Apprentice Kin Kwo made it six career wins and his first at Riccarton when, like so many of today’s winners at the Amberley meeting, his charge Bell Boy came from the rear of the field to take out the Optimise Fertilisers Rating 75. The Alamosa gelding, trained by Kelvin Tyler at Riverton, has been a regular acceptor over recent times, having raced at least once every month since December. This was Belle Boy’s fifth win, and like his jockey his first at Riccarton. Kin himself is on a roll, having scored two of his previous five wins just two days earlier at Oamaru.

Later in the day, Tui Miles had her first winning ride when she took out the last at Tauranga on Seconds Out for trainer Iain Marks, who was “over the moon” over the result.  Congratulations Tui!

Underthemoonlight takes out Tauranga WFA feature

Cameron Lammas took out his second for the day at Tauranga when he brought Underthemoonlight home for trainer Karyn McQuade in the $50,000 Seeka Tauranga Classic, the feature WFA race for fillies and mares. Underthemoonlight drew outside leader and favourite New York Minute before the turn, and the two horses both fought hard down the first half of the straight, before Underthemoonlight drew out to win comfortably.  

After the race part-owner Hamish McQuade was quick to assert his strong opinion of the El Hermano 5yo. “She’s a fantastic mare, with no luck in her last three starts,” McQuade said. “Cameron rode a lovely race and got the job done. She’s a Group One horse!”

Friday flashback - Otaki

Otaki racing on Friday saw a seven race card in which Johnathan Parks and Lisa Allpress rode three winners each.  Leah Hemi was the only other winning jockey, steering Captain Rio 3yo Redefine to her second race win on end and third in total in the Rating 65 Vets on Riverbank Handicap.  Tony Bambry’s filly Veuve Cliquot gave sire Rock ‘n’ Pop a winner in the first race, the NZB Insurance Pearl Series 2YO, while Darci Mac took out the Gardner Homes Handicap from North and South and Zorrali.

Racing Sunday - Te Aroha

Good racing is anticipated at Te Aroha on Sunday 25th June, with nine races carded. The first jumps at 11.45 and the track is rated Heavy11. Anne Browne’s handy jumper Raisafuasho, winner over hurdles at Ellerslie earlier in the month, steps out in the Rating 75 Karl Davis Bayleys Real Estate 2200 as he prepares for a return to the fences. 

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