Waikato RC @ Te Rapa
Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate Raceday
Waikato RC @ Te Rapa
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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.
Favourite Huayra did not let his legion of backers down when he put in a brave performance to take out the $20,000 Balance Agri-Nutrients (Rating 65) over 1400 metres on Saturday.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained son of Nicconi had finished a commendable third to the exciting filly, Blue Shadow on the same track three weeks ago.
Stepping up to 1400 metres and with blinkers applied for the first time, the $3.50 favourite put in a brave performance after being forced to race wide without cover throughout the majority of the race.
Jumping from barrier nine, Huayra was crowded making contact with rivals soon after and rider Matt Cameron settled the gelding handy albeit with no cover.
Avec Moi and I Paco led the field at the point of turn, Huayra loomed three wide in a challenging position.
The two pacesetters went clear with 200m to run but under the strong urgings from Cameron, Huayra finished strongly to gather the pair and beat Avec Moi (C.Lammas) by a short neck. I Paco (M.Hills) battled over the final stages but held third, one and a quarter lengths back.
Huayra's winning time was 1:25.08 (last 600m in 35.30) on a Slow7 track.
The three-year-old recorded his second win from five starts, along with two placings has earned over $22,000 in prizemoney for owner C Kwok.
The gelding was purchased at the 2015 Karaka Select Sale for $90,000.
Huayra's victory was the 16th winner this season at Te Rapa for trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman for Waikato Racing Club's leading trainer - five more than Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards.
Baker and Forsman added to that with Craftyeva in the last.
Debutant Sacred Rebel scored an outstanding debut victory in the $20,000 Virkon (2yo) over 1200 metres at Te Rapa on Saturday.
The Tony Pike trained galloper was sent out $2.30 favourite after two trial appearances, including a win in his most recent at Taupo three weeks ago.
Jumping well from barrier three, rider Vinnie Colgan restrained his mount as another debut runner, Karisto (M.Cameron) and Stakes-performer Waldorf (M.McNab) from outside draw came across to set the pace with Sacred Rebel behind.
The two pacemakers skipped away after the turn and became a two-horse war but the Pike trained Sacred Rebel stretched out over the final 100m to grab the leaders to score a formidable victory by a head. Karisto was second, with Waldorf a long head back in third.
Sacred Rebel clocked 1:11.60 (last 600m in 35.32) on Slow7 track.
Pike has big plans for the son of Sepoy including the spring three-year-old features.
"It makes things so much easier having a win under your belt going into those three-year-old races in the spring," Pike said.
"Obviously our spring can sometimes be very wet, and trying to get enough runs on the board to get into those sorts of races can be very difficult.
"He's got that win now, so he can have a short break and then we can start looking at those good races in the spring."
"He's given two promising horses a big start at the 200m mark and run them down," Pike said.
"There's still plenty to come out of this race too - he'll improve a ton for the experience.
"It took him a while to balance up when he came off heels, but the last 100 metres of his race were very nice.
"He's a promising horse heading into his three-year-old season. He's probably going to go a bit further than 1200 metres as well, which bodes well for those three-year-old races in the spring."
Sacred Rebel was purchased by Raffles Racing for A$100,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.