River Black in form for Invercargill Cup
River Black gathered support for tomorrow's $40,000 Ascot Park Hotel Invercargill Cup with a gritty second on the course eight night's ago.
The Canterbury raider impressed many when leading and only getting run down in the last 80m of the $50,000 Northern Southland Cup. Dean Taylor trains River Black at Ladbrooks for Christchurch brothers Ron and Colin Bennett.
The Bennetts are on course for all of River Black's races.
''They never miss a race and enjoy every bit of it,'' Taylor said.
The horseman and the Bennetts raced Waipawa Lad (eighth) in the 2006 Invercargill Cup. Southland reinsman Clark Barron, who continues his association with River Black tomorrow, combined with the Taylor-trained Captain Peacock to finish fourth in the cup 12 months ago.
Other horses to represent Taylor in the Group III event have been Pacific Reign (10th, 2008), Grenfell Robyn (12th, 2006), Anvilanunoit (10th, 2005) and Lee Robyn (third, 2004, 10th, 2003).
Taylor said River Black had run a lot of pleasing races this season, especially his fifth in the Group III Ricoh Free-For-All at Addington on New Zealand Cup Day on November 13.
The free-for-all was run in a rapid 3min 9.1sec (2600m mobile), a mile rate of 1:57. River Black went from last at the 1400m to the parked position at the 950m and finished a close fifth, two and a-half lengths from the winner.
''He's been going some really good races this season,'' Taylor said.
His main danger tomorrow is Southland star Franco Ledger, who ran second to Ohoka Texas in last year's Invercargill Cup. Ohoka Texas will also be returning for another crack at the Southland feature.
- The Southland Times