Admiral goes pillar to post21 Jul 2019

Admiral scored a gutsy win with a pillar to post victory in the $35,000 Become A Waikato Racing Club Member (OHcp) over 1600 metres on Saturday.

Rider Trudy Thornton sent the seven-year-old gelding forward from the start and the pair soon had the field of five runners spread out with race favourite Sultan Of Swing bringing up the rear.

At the 600m mark, Admiral gapped his opposition by three lengths and soon after turning for home, Sultan Of Swing set after the leader, but Admiral dug deep and held off the challenge to win by a short head to Sultan Of Swing (T.Tanagida) with Crafty Jess (M.Coleman) battling on for third, one and a quarter lengths back. “He’s a lovely horse and was strong to the line,” Thornton said.

Admiral’s winning time was 1:40.08 (last 600m in 37.86) on a Heavy10 track.

“We thought he would go well last time but things didn’t pan out with him running midfield but he was bright and ready to turn his form around today,” trainer and part-owner Stephen Ralph said.

“I was watching the race with part-owner Michael (Hislop) and he started to get pretty excited when he was out by three lengths coming to the home turn. I kept telling him there was still 600m to run but we were both shouting pretty hard as they got closer to home. When I saw him prick his ears at the 100m I knew the other horse wasn’t going to get past him and he held him nicely.”

“He really needs the wet tracks and with so much racing at Ruakaka and here at Te Rapa he often doesn’t get that at this time of the year. We could send him down the island if we can find something suitable for him,” Ralph said.

Admiral’s eight wins and nine placings after 55 starts has earned over $208,000 for Michael Hislop & Melanie Sutton and trainer Stephen Ralph.