As the firmer tracks have hit, so have our horses straps as they performed with great credit over the weekend.
What A Diva was a dominant winner of the $30,000 Dunstan Stayers Championship qualifier at Te Rapa on Saturday, running away to win by over a length and a quarter in her first staying race this season. “She sprinted quickly when I asked her and if anything is looking for more ground” commented successful jockey Craig Grylls.
It was no surprise either to syndicate manager Albert Bosma ” Her lead up runs weren’t as bad as her form suggested. She was just getting out of her ground over shorter distances and a positive ride by Craig showed her true staying ability today. We loved the odds of 30-1 too!” She will now head to The $80,000 Dunstan Stayers Final on New Years Day at Ellerslie.
Two stakes placings were satsifying for different reasons on Saturday. Rip Into Ghia was a courageous 2nd in the Group 3 Eulogy Stakes at Awapuni after leading the field throughout the race. “she was maidener going into the race, but we knew she had Group ability” says trainer Lisa Latta. “She has just been a little slow for the penny to drop and will just keep going ahead now.”
“The Group placing is enormous for her value as a broodmare” commented Syndicate Manager Albert Bosma. “She will be aimed at The New Zealand Oaks and will have a couple of weeks in the paddock now before resuming in January.”
Seize The Moment bounced back to form with a 2nd in The Listed J Swap Contractors 1400 metres at Te Rapa on Saturday. He was coming off a last in the Group 2 Couplands Mile where the track was far too hard for him. He led, then trailed before fighting valiantly in the straight under his big weight of 59.5 kilos. “He is a victim of consistency and has to lump big weights every start because of this” said syndicate Manager Albert Bosma. It is great to see him back, but it is frustrating when we haven’t won a stakes race and only get half a kilo off a horse that has won a Group 2 and placed at Weight For Age in a Group 1 (Hasselhoof), and had to carry three kilos more than a Group 3 winner that has beaten us three times this season (The Auld Floozie). It makes no sense”
Seize The Moment will now be set for The Group 3 Anniversary Handicap and Group 1 Thorndon Mile at Trentham in January.
Rounding up the weekend, Ruud Not Too was a brave 3rd at Ellerslie on Sunday in a Rating 85 1400 metres on an unsuitable dead 6 track. She will now progress to the Rising Stars Final over 1500 metres on Boxing Day worth $80,000. No Return was 4th in Sydney on Friday night after missing the start and getting a check just before the turn. He looks ready to return to the winners circle very quickly.