True Colours Raceday
Waikato RC @ Te Rapa
Waikato RC @ Te Rapa
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Trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman and rider Matt Cameron enjoyed a good day at the office on Saturday when Craftyeva dug deep to beat a competitive field in the $20,000 Dow Agrosciences (Rating 65) over 1600 metres, to round out a terrific double for the trio.
In the final race on the card, Craftyeva ($4.60) was sent out favourite in the 16-horse field after a brave fresh-up run for fourth on the same track, three weeks ago.
With regular pilot Cameron aboard, the pair began well from barrier nine to settle just past midfield. Turning for home Cameron angled his mount to the middle of the track and the daughter of Mastercraftsman unwound late to grab Pythagoras (T.Harris) just short of the post, to win by a head. Civique Rose (S.McKay) was three-quarters of a length back in third.
Craftyeva's winning time was 1:38.89 (last 600m in 36.04) on a Slow7 track.
The four-year-old mare had shown solid form over longer trips before being sent for a brief spell.
Craftyeva's recorded her second victory from 15 starts and with six placings has earned over $36,000 for her owner W Luff.
Murray Baker purchased the mare at the 2014 Karaka Select Sale for $31,000.
The win was Cameron's 12th winner for the season at Te Rapa, placing him first equal with Danielle Johnson as this season's Waikato Racing Club's leading rider, with two meetings remaining.
Cameron recorded two wins at Te Rapa for the first 8 meetings - up until end of January, but has ridden 10 winners for the following seven meetings since, with five doubles.
The Chris Wood trained Roc de Bank brushed aside a wide draw to prevail in the $22,500 Ebbett Toyota (Rating 75) over 1600 metres on Saturday.
The topweight appreciated the under-rated claiming apprentice Darren Danis - claiming three kilograms in the saddle.
The progressive Roc de Cambes gelding jumped well from the outside barrier to lead early and was joined by Ali Baba at the 1100m mark. Danis sat outside the leader, then challenged for the lead soon after straightening and despite drifted in the home turn kicked on well to record a half length victory. Keep On Comin (A.Collett) finished second, with The Kipling Girl (M.du Plessis) finishing well for third, half a head back.
The win gave apprentice jockey Darren Danis a much-needed kick to his career, recording his sixth winner this season from limited chances but came at a cost with Danis admitting a careless riding breach for a minor infringement. With a suspension from the conclusion of racing June 17th to June 25th.
Roc de Bank's winning time was 1:37.91 (last 600m in 36.69)
on a Slow7 track.
"He's a progressive horse who has only had 19 runs with five wins under his belt, and has fashioned a good record at Te Rapa with three wins here," winning trainer Chris Wood said.
"He likes a little cut in the track but isn't a true winter galloper so the track he struck, was perfect for him."
"At this stage, we might find one more for him somewhere and then he can have a break before we bring him back for the spring," Wood added.
Roc de Bank's five victories and four placings from 19 starts had earned over $54,000 in prizemoney for owners Miss K C Avery, J R Borich, P J Bucknell, J Duckworth, G R Edge, K W Green, R P James, N P Jamieson, P P Magill, G D Manson & P G Proverbs.
Wood purchased Roc de Bank at the 2014 Karaka Festival Sale for $32,000 from Suncroft Bloodstock draft.
Exciting three-year-old filly Blue Shadow completed a hat-trick of wins when she smashed a quality field in the $22,500 McMillan Equine Feeds (Rating 75) 1200 at Te Rapa.
The attractive daughter of Dalghar was a stunning winner here three weeks ago and that form was franked when the third placegetter (Huayra) that day was a winner earlier on the card, and she lived up to her billing with another outstanding performance.
With Sam Spratt in the saddle, favourite Blue Shadow ($3.20) jumped brilliantly from her outside barrier of ten and worked to the lead. She travelled well throughout and careered away to score by nearly five lengths. Stakes performers Mystery Show (M.du Plessis) and Alamer (S.Collett) finished second and third.
Blue Shadow's winning time was a quick 1:10.99 (last 600m in 35.51) on a Slow7 track.
Cambridge trainer Graeme Hughes knows he has an exciting prospect on his hands.
"She's a very good horse, she's special," Hughes said.
"That's the first time we've ever won three in a row."
"It's sort of frightening. She's a pretty classy sprinter and I'm looking forward to the future with her.
"The plan is to give her a break and then get her ready for the spring, so we'll stick to that plan."
Blue Shadow has won three from four starts and $33,110 in prize-money for Colin Bishop and his brother Des, from Raglan and their younger sister Astrid Morgan from Tauranga.
The Bishop brothers purchased the grey at the 2015 Karaka Festival Sale for a bargain $18,000.
Divine Duke showcased his staying ability with a strong finish to take home the $20,000 DLF Seeds NZ (Rating 65) over 2100 metres at Te Rapa.
The son of Bachelor Duke was purchased with a stayer's future but was having his first start over ground on the weekend and made in count.
Divine Duke managed to win in his second start over 14 months ago, then came in second in his next race but his form started to decline rapidly thereafter. The gelding consistently finishing midfield over shorter distances.
Stepping up over ground for the first time in 13 starts, Divine Duke ($21.50) ridden by Craig Grylls settled midfield three wide but with cover early until Grylls let the four-year-old steadily stride forward from the 700m mark to be in a challenging position on the turn.
Divine Duke charged forward to take an early lead and managed to withstand the late challenge from favourite Nina Arora (M.McNab) to win by half a length. Street Sense (C.Johnson) finished third, one and three quarters of length back.
Divine Duke's winning time was 2:11.69 (last 600m in 37.26) on a Slow7 track.
The victory was Divine Duke's second and with two placings, has earned $22,850 in stakes for B, P & R Bradley, J Cowley, L Davidson, C J Mills, Mrs B R O'Sullivan, D J O'Sullivan OBE, L A O'Sullivan ONZM, C, C M, Miss H & Mrs S M Reid, Mrs E Wehipeihana, M J Williamson & Est late L M A O'Sullivan.
Wexford Stables purchased Divine Duke at the 2014 Karaka Select Sale for $40,000 from The Oaks draft.
Trainer Guy Lowry is hoping Wait A Sec has turned the corner for good as he plans for more ambitious targets after his galloper won in imposing fashion the $25,000 Farmlands Hautapu (Rating 85) over 2100 metres.
Rider Samantha Collett settled the gelded son of Postponed towards the rear until improving their position with 800 metres to run. Cruising around the field three wide to take the lead on the home turn and dashed away to record a three length victory. Francis Drake (C.Johnson) tried hard too finish second with Jochen Rindt (T.Thornton) half a length back in third.
Wait A Sec's winning time was 2:13.01 (last 600m in 35.46) on a Slow7 track.
In his early days as a promising three-year-old, Wait A Sec split top galloper Kawi and St Leger winner Iffwedance early in their careers.
Racing is a game of patience, and so Guy Lowry and training partner Grant Cullen found out when Wait A Sec banged out three wins and a close third from his last four starts.
seems to have come of age this time in as he has taken a while to mature,"
co-trainer Guy Lowry said.
"He showed plenty of ability early on and ran Kawi close one day at Trentham, but he's always been a little weak. His owners have been fantastic and allowed us to be patient with him and they are now reaping the rewards of that."
"He handles most tracks but we don't see him as a true winter galloper," he said.
"I had thought of a race like the Taumarunui Cup as a good target but with it being run at Rotorua it might just be too deep there for him."
"There are still some nice races at Te Rapa coming up so he is likely to have one or two more runs before we put him away for a short break," Lowry said.
"The New Zealand Cup is the sort of race that will suit him so with that in mind he can have a rest soon as you can't keep peaking them all the way to November."
The win was Wait A Sec's seventh from 36 starts, and with 10 placings has earned over $101,000 in stakes for his owners I M & P D Henderson, who also part-bred him along with G D Innes & K R Whitehouse.