Kahlon makes memorable comeback

SUCCESSFUL: Taminder Kahlon unsaddles her first winner,  Sandfly, at Riverton yesterday.
SUCCESSFUL: Taminder Kahlon unsaddles her first winner, Sandfly, at Riverton yesterday.

Taminder Kahlon's comeback to race-riding was sweetened with success on Sandfly at Riverton yesterday.

It was the apprentice's first win and only engagement at the Riverton Racing Club's new summer raceday. The 22-year-old has had eight race-rides, the previous being 13 months ago while working for North Canterbury trainers John and Karen Parsons.

Kahlon transferred to Ascot Park trainer Sally McKay in November, about the same time Sandfly joined the stable from Woodend trainer Emma Stackhouse.

''He travelled so good (in the running),'' Kahlon said of Sandfly's performance in the McKenzie Menswear Handicap.

''It's good to make my parents proud of me. I got big Facebook messages from my mum and dad (on Wednesday).''

The young rider said her mother and father would be listening to the race commentary on the internet in India.

McKay is eyeing the 3-year-old fillies' races with Saperavious, who sprinted sharply inside the 150m to win The Pavillion Colac Bay Maiden. Owner Don Nicolson paid $2000 for the daughter of Saperavi at the South Island Sale in Christchurch in 2011.

Saperavious will contest a $12,500 special conditions 1600m at Ascot Park tomorrow week. The race is for horses that were non winners as at Christmas Day.

Uncle Jim brought up McKay's third training win for day in the final event, the Saddlery Warehouse Invercargill Handicap.

The Bodyguard became the fourth winner out of Solo Star when beating eight rivals in the Beach House Cafe And Bar Maiden.

Wingatui trainer Paul Richards and wife Leanne are the owner-breeders of The Bodyguard, a 4-year-old half-brother to Anzac Star (seven wins), Fly Solo (six wins) and Mick Murphy (one win).

Solo Star was put down two years ago after developing a bad sinus infection. She is also the dam of a 2-year-old King's Chapel gelding in the Richards stable.

During his career as a jockey Richards rode Solo Star in four of her five wins.

Richards-trained Natuzzi ran a slashing second in the White Robe Lodge Handicap at Wingatui last Saturday and is now being prepared for the $50,000 Lightning Handicap at Trentham on March 16.

Split Decision landed Nikki and Barrie Blatch's first win for the season when taking out the McCallums Drycleaning Handicap. The Tapanui husband and wife trainers have four horses in work.

Five-year-old Split Decision has had her workload increased since finishing 11th at Gore on January 24.

''I was a bit light on her training, didn't work her enough (before Gore) and she blew out,'' Nikki said.

''We've also changed her feed.''

Split Decision will start at Ascot Park on February 16 or 18.

Varvara, one of two horses in work with Ascot Park trainer Peter Smellie, won the Mrs Clark's Cafe Maiden.

Smellie bred the St Petersburg mare and races her with son Matt and daughter-in-law Angela, of Invercargill.

The Southland Times