It will be a super Saturday at Trentham’s biggest race meeting of the year, where Go Racing boasts three runners, one in each of the feature races. While none are favourites they are all in good form and rate chances.
It is ladies first, with Ruud Not Too in the Group 1 $200,000 Thorndon Mile.
She’s a Group 2 winner of the same distance in the Rich Hill Mile last year. She was on target to defend her title this year, but unfortunately had to be scratched with a heavy downpour at Ellerslie turning the track to slow conditions.
Wellingtonian by birth, Albert Bosma is thrilled to have her running, “The Thorndon Mile is one I’ve always wanted to win. We came close with a third with Mighty Solomon a few years ago. Ruud Not Too has a lovely barrier draw of 4 out of 12 so should get a nice run in transit. She does need a good track to perform and it’s a very strong field, but at her best, she is certainly up to winning this race. I saw her working on Monday and she looked magnificent. She’s not a big horse but covers the ground with a massive stride on her. ” Danielle Johnson is riding.
Passing Shot lines up in the arguably the best race of the season – the Group 1 JR and N Berkett Telegraph over 1200 metres worth $250,000.
“It’s just such an awesome field this year,” enthuses Bosma. “Passing Shot has drawn 12 out of 18, but that doesn’t worry us too much as he has such a fast start out of the gates.”
” He is going in fourth up and we are really happy with him – he’s an outsider on the tote, but a much better chance than the odds suggest.” His form is good. First up he was second by a head in the Group 3 Stewards Handicap, next he was fourth in the Group 1400 metres at Waikato, followed by a second in the Listed Newmarket Handicap on Boxing Day, where he was nailed on the line by a nose. Sam Spratt will ride at 55 kilos – three kilos less than in The Newmarket.
The $250,000 Group 3 Wellington Cup is an iconic race that Go Racing has never had a runner in… until now. Thorn Pass gets in on the minimum weight of 53 kilos with Cameron Lammas to ride. Go Racing Director Pat Vinaccia attended the public draw today and was rapt with barrier 4.
Says Bosma, “Thorn Pass has been very consistent in his last four starts with two seconds and two thirds, always hitting the line hard. It was top jockey Alysha Collett who suggested he would be suited to two miles. It is always a question whether they will run the distance and there’s many in the same boat. It’s a really mixed field this year – there are good horses who are out of form and then lower rated horses like Thorn Pass who are really flying.”