Dominant day for local horses
Four Ascot Park-trained horses won on their home track on Saturday.
Elite Street took out the Southland Times Invercargill Cup, Infallible won the Coupland's Bakeries Southland Stakes, Robbie Rooster triumphed in the Comcat Plant Enhancer Handicap and Petty Lane was too strong for her rivals in the Castledale @ Te Runga Summer Cup.
Infallible and Petty Lane race for syndicates and are always a chance to run in the money. The Riverton Racing Syndicate and Roberts Holdings Ltd own Infallible (seven wins) in Gay Robinson's stable, while Lisa Vaughan prepares Petty Lane (eight wins) for The Trinny Syndicate.
Robbie Rooster is trained by Jim Curran and owned by Invercargill lawyer Sarah McKenzie and her father, John, of Otautau. Curran is a committeeman of the Southland Racing Club.
Black Caps cricket captain Brendon McCallum won as an owner at Ascot Park on Saturday and at Alexandra Park on Friday night. His galloper, El Doute, prevailed in the Kym Howley @ First National Real Estate 2-Year-Old at Ascot Park. McCallum's 2-year-old pacer, Cyclone Prince, won a Young Guns Series Heat at Alexandra Park.
El Doute was bought by his Christchurch trainer and part-owner Michael Pitman for A$90,000 at the Gold Coast sale last autumn. Prince Ransom, who won the Speight's Special Conditions Maiden on Saturday, and Berenice and Sir Singo, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Southland Guineas, were also bought at the annual Gold Coast sale by Pitman.
Another snapped up at the same sale was Southland Guineas winner Platinum Kingdom.
Ellicorsam, the dam of El Doubt, was a high class racemare in Australia, winning a Group I, two Group IIs, a Group III and A$773,000. El Doubt is nominated for the $225,000 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes at Awapuni on March 30.
''It's on the raidar, but he'll have to improve a bit,'' Pitman said.
The horseman is thinking about taking Berenice to the $70,000 Lowland Stakes at Hastings on March 2.
Stablemates Saperavious and No Mean Feat will be aimed at the $50,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Stakes at Wingatui on March 9 after finishing second and ninth, respectively, at Ascot Park on Saturday. Their trainer Sally McKay was thrilled with Bigglesworth's third in the Southland Guineas.
Meanwhile, Terry Kennedy recorded his 100th training win when Chapel Star won the Fashion in the Field Handicap on Saturday. His first training win was with Why O' Why at Omakau in 1997. Kennedy gained 360 wins as a jockey.
Grey gelding Ghostinthemachine gave his owners a win at his first South Island start on Saturday.
He arrived at David Hutton's Timaru stable a week earlier and only had one fast gallop, on Tuesday, to tighten him for the Vinyl Bar Handicap. He won two of 18 starts for Matamata trainers Michael Moroney and Chad Ormsby. During his time there, Ghostinthemachine underwent a wind operation.
Hutton, ably assisted by jockey Ross Doherty, is training a team of 12, including five jumpers. Cap Ferrat (one win), formerly with Matamata trainer Peter McKay, arrives at Hutton's stable today.
Wyndham and Wairio Cup winner Acquit tore a tendon two weeks ago and is likely to be retired.
Isla Bank trainer Kerry King was hoping to start Acquit in Saturday's Invercargill Cup. Acquit posted all of her 10 wins for King and finished second or third on 15 occasions.
- The Southland Times