Day of highs and lows for Bishop
A couple of disappointments overshadowed Ryan Bishop's three riding wins at Gore on Saturday.
He landed the $25,000 Gore Cup on Dickens, rode Elite Street to success in the Advance Agriculture Ltd Handicap and won the Kevin Coyle Memorial Handicap with Remind Me.
A down side to Bishop's day was a $200 fine for being unable to make the contract weight for Cruiseonby in race two, the Regional Ford Gore Handicap. Darrin Skerrett replaced Bishop on Cruiseonby (12th).
Bishop was unlucky with Platinum Kingdom in the $50,000 Gore Guineas. The Awapuni-trained gelding unwound strongly for third after being trapped wide throughout the 1335m.
The jockey said Dickens had no worries winning the Gore Cup in soft ground.
''He was on the bit the whole way. We got a nice run up on the fence . . . Just too good.''
Saturday was only the second time Bishop had ridden for Dickens's Riccarton trainer, Peter Rudkin. They were also successful with Unrelenting Lady at Kumara a week earlier.
Paeroa dairy farmers Jock and Dawn Spinks sent Dickens to Rudkin in August after the Istidaad gelding recorded three wins for Matamata trainer Regan Donnison.
Rudkin's initial thoughts about Dickens have proved to be right.
''When he first came down I thought he was a cups horse.''
Dickens won his first two starts for Rudkin at Winton (September 18) and Gore (October 2), while in the past three weeks he has finished second in the Greymouth and Kurow Cups.
His eight South Island starts have yielded three wins, two seconds, two thirds and a fifth. Dickens's shoes needed changing when he joined Rudkin's team.
''He had long toes and all four bumpers were raw,'' Rudkin said.
Elevated shoes were put on all four hooves and a tongue added to his racing gear.
Saturday's $25,000 Gore Cup is the richest race won by Rudkin in 15 years of training. His other main wins have been with Rock On Rye in the Marlborough ($15,000) and Greymouth ($16,000) Cups in 2011.
As well as training four horses, Rudkin is a barrier attendant at Canterbury race meetings.
''I'm looking for more horses to train. Every horse I've got at the moment has form.''
- The Southland Times