Cambridge Jockey Club Meeting
Waikato RC @ Te Rapa
Waikato RC @ Te Rapa
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Central Districts visitor Piece Of Kate came with a searching run to land her second win, taking out the $30,000 $5K Punters Challenge 6th May (Rating 65) 1600m at Te Rapa.
A daughter of Ekraar and the Entrepreneur mare Katie's Girl, Piece of Kate returned to the winners circle after more than a year which convinced Stratford trainer Gavin Sharrock to have a shot at last year's Group One New Zealand Derby.
From a tricky barrier 13, apprentice rider Jordan Nason settled the mare in the first half dozen albeit trapped three wide then gradually improving before the turn to be in a challenging position after straightening. With 300m to travel, Arraignment kicked clear but Piece Of Kate reeled in the leader and drew away to a comprehensive victory winning by two and three-quarters of a length to Tatters (S.McKay) running on for second and Sasanof's Hero (R.Jones) a neck back in third.
Piece Of Kate's winning time 1:35.38 (last 600m in 34.90) on a Good3 track.
Piece Of Kate was one of the least fancied runners, being sent out $31.80 by punters.
The win was Piece Of Kate's second victory and along with five placings from 17 starts has won over $41,000 in prizemoney for her breeder and owners thoroughbred breeding consultant Ken Mackay of Pukekohe and Hawera accountant Gavin O'Dea.
Hiflyer's growing reputation gained further traction after a scintillating victory in the $30,000 Foster Maintain (Rating 85) 1600 at Te Rapa.
Te Aroha trainer Peter Lock has always held the son of Tavistock in high regard and the exciting gelding is starting to put it altogether, winning three from his last four starts. Despite this, Lock believes his charge is still six months away from his best.
Jumping from barrier three with Rory Hutchings aboard, the pair settled back past midfield on the rail until Hutchings set the gelding alight dashing around the field from the 600m mark storming home to a convincing win. Topweight All Roads (D.Prastiyou) finished a distant second, six and half lengths behind and Sanasar (E.Farr) finished third, half a head back.
Hiflyer's winning time was 1:34.13 (last 600m in 34.35) on a Good3 track.
"He's a very special horse and could well be a Group One winner by this time next year," beamed Lock.
"I had dinner with his owners last night and said to them that he is still far from fully matured and you won't see the best of him for another six months. He still does a few things wrong at home and in his races. He is learning all the time, and I think with a good winter spell he will be the real deal for his next campaign."
"We had been thinking about tackling the Easter Stakes at Ellerslie for his last run in this campaign, but I'm in two minds about it," he explained. "He would go into the race at a disadvantage under the set weights and penalties criteria as he would be pretty close in the handicap to horses who have won at the top level. While it is very tempting to have a crack when he is in this type of form, the better option might be to tip him out now. We think he is good enough to be a threat in some of those big races during the Hawke's Bay spring carnival, so what we do next will be with that in mind."
Hiflyer has now won four and along with five seconds from 12 starts has won over $67,000 for his owners Lady Justine & Sir Patrick Hogan & Go Henry Racing Syndicate. Lady Justine & Sir Patrick Hogan also bred the talented four year old.
Pinzalot took another small step to stakes company with an explosive performance winning the $30,000 Cal Isuzu (Rating 75) 1400 at Te Rapa.
The talented Pins gelding went back-to-back victories after saluting the judge at the same track and distance the previous month.
Ridden by apprentice Jordan Nason, the pair made good use of barrier two, setting a strong pace up front and cornered like he was jogging to win effortlessly by three and half lengths to Buy Me A Rock (D.Prastiyou), with a nose back to local runner Thatsforsure (S.McKay) in third.
Pinzalot's winning time was 1:21.65 (last 600m in 34.95) for a Good3 track.
Cambridge trainer Mark Forbes used trainer Tony Pike's apprentice Nason, and asked for the top trainers opinion how he'd be rated, had he won.
"I had him set to go to Trentham for the Listed sprint there but pulled the pin in the end. I had a chat with Tony Pike about it, particularly about how he might be weighted in the future if he won it, and we both felt he would be treated pretty harshly. He has a real future in front of him, so I decided to just keep him to his grade for this run," Forbes said.
Forbes used Pike's indentured apprentice Nason, taking advantage of his 2kg claim.
"I said to Jordan he would probably miss the start, it's just a quirk he has. The plan was to get him to the front, if he could, and then stack them up to around the 600m mark. If he got there, I told him to get rolling and try and take the back runners out of play. Credit to Jordan, he rode him beautifully and did exactly what I asked," Forbes added.
Forbes has bigger ambitions next season but concedes the gelding is a day-to-day proposition due to a tendon injury he suffered in Hong Kong, where he had one unplaced run at Sha Tin.
"He's been up a long time and I think he will only get better with a decent spell under his belt. He's still a day-to-day proposition due to a tendon injury he suffered in Hong Kong, although he has been as good as gold so far. If he shows he is up to it, then those early races during the Hawke's Bay spring carnival look made for him," Forbes said.
Pinzalot third win and two placings from six starts since Hong Kong, he has earned just short of $50,000 in prizemoney for his owner P Nunn.
The four year old was purchased at the 2014 Karaka Select Sale for $60,000 from Phillip Brown's Ancroft Stud's draft.
Emerging stayer Master Of Speed posted his second win in a row after taking out the $20,000 Joe Black Munns The Mans Store (Rating 65) 2100 at Te Rapa.
The son of Mastercraftsman was a course and distance winner earlier in the month and found the step up in grade no trouble, downing favourite Sheridan by a neck.
Shaun McKay replaced regular pilot Michael Coleman who was down at the premier meeting at Trentham.
McKay settled the gelding at the rear of the field until approaching the turn sneaking a few placings along the inside at the turn, when McKay switched to the strapping chestnut to the center of the track the pair gave the leaders a hefty headstart but the talented four-year-old lengthened stride stylishly.
Sheridan (V.Colgan) grabbed the lead with 150m to travel but under strong urgings from McKay, Master Of Speed overhauled the favourite to score with plenty in hand. Dezignator (R.Jones) stuck on well for third, one and three quarters of a length back.
Master Of Speed's winning time was 2:09.07 (last 600m in 34.60) on a Good3 track.
"Next season he could make a lovely staying type," Cambridge trainer Lauren Brennan said.
Master Of Speed has now brought his handy record to two wins with three placings from six starts has earned $21,700 in prizemoney for his owners P L Racing.
Master Of Speed was purchased by Hiwi Lodge for $70,000 at the 2014 Karaka Select Sale from breeders Windsor Park Stud's draft.
Co-trainer Ken Kelso described Irish Moon's win in the $30,000 Allied Security 1200 as "fully deserved", as the consistent sprinter has been on the receiving end of couple luckless runs and ballots.
The son of O'Reilly was desperately unlucky in the Group 3 Darley Plate and had also had no luck in his previous start at Matamata last month.
Beforehand the seven year old won at Pukekohe, a small consolation after being left on the ballots for the Group One Telegraph the previous week, despite being one of the higher rated runners.
On Saturday, Irish Moon returned to Te Rapa to win the same race he won 12 months earlier and record his fifth win on the track from his nine career victories.
From barrier two, rider Craig Grylls sent the gelding to the front and the pair never let their five rivals a chance with a comprehensive victory to win by two lengths to Cartell (V.Colgan), with three-quarters of a length to Southern Icon (M.Hills) in third place.
Irish Moon winning time was a slick 1:09.47 (last 600m in 33.56) on a Good3 track.
"He deserved that as he has been racing well without much luck. He was very unlucky at Ellerslie last start. He got stuck behind them in the run home and just cantered to the line under a hold. It was nothing more than a track gallop, which is very disappointing when you are running in a Group 3 race like that," said Ken Kelso.
"His work this week has been nothing short of brilliant, so we were pretty confident he could win, even with the 60kgs. He loves it here at Te Rapa," Kelso added.
Irish Moon received two points for the victory, lifting his rating to 97.
"He will most likely get a couple of points for that win so he will carry 60kgs again. It does make it tough for him, as when they run those stakes races as set weights and penalty events he can't get a start because he hasn't got the black-type form, but in a normal event he has to carry the house on his back. I don't see that as being right, so something has got to change in that respect," Kelso said.
Irish Moon has now won nine and been placed on eight occasions from 28 starts and earned over $176,000 in prizemoney for his Spyglass Hill Racing Syndicate.