By: Mark Nowell @MarkANowell
Trainer Chris Wood continued his rich vein of form this season when his promising galloper Wooden Edge comfortably won the $22,500 Foxbridge Plate Day 19th August (Rating 75) over 1600 metres on Saturday.
The Cambridge handler with less than a dozen horses in his stable, chalked up his 18th winner for the season from only 101 starters, has an outstanding 5.61 strike rate. Wooden Edge's victory brought up Wood's fifth winner at Te Rapa this season.
The unfashionable-bred Wooden Edge settled at the rear of the field but trapped wide for most of the race. Former Singapore rider Hairi Marzuki, followed High Class (A.Collett) into the home bend then peeled off to challenge his rival at the 200m mark to stride clear to win by just under two lengths to High Class. Waipipi Lad (S.Weatherley) was half a length back in third.
The win was Marzuki's sixth winner, in his first season riding in this country from only 65 mounts. With winners from Baker/Forsman stable and his boss Stephen Marsh, shows his talent hasn't gone un-noticed during the winter.
Wooden Edge's winning time was 1:40.92 (last 600m in 38.16) on a Slow9 track.
"It was a nice ride by Hairi (Marzuki). We got back a little further than we wanted, but there was plenty of pace and they came back to him. He was the only one travelling like a winner half mile from home. He had to do a little bit of work but once in the clear, came home nicely. It was a strong win," trainer Chris Wood said.
"I don't think he is an out in out mudder, but he does appreciate some cut of the track."
"He's a nice progessive horse who just keeps stepping up. His record now with six wins from 12 starts...not many have 50% strike-rate!," Wood said.
Wooden Edge six from 12 starts and earned over $78,000 in prize money for his owners G Edge, Betalert Ltd, S Durrant, D Sexton, I Green, K Gregory, P Wicks, D Proverbs, M Hayes, D McHugh, P O'Sullivan, R Clark & R Woods.
Although Wood's stable star Pacorus wasn't able to win earlier in the day, the Tavistock gelding finding the mile too short, he looks a huge chance in the Taumarunui Cup at Rotorua in a fortnight.
"He'll go to the Taumarunui Cup and then the paddock for three or four weeks," Wood said.
"I might nominate him for the last day (Group One Livamol Classic) at Hawke's Bay, with the main aim the New Zealand Cup."