The Diamond One sparkles

TAYLER STRONG IN DUNEDIN
Last updated 05:00 03/02/2014
Dennis brothers
TAYLER STRONG

WINNERS: The Dennis brothers, from left, Joe, Martin, Tony and Ray Dennis with Claire Anderton after the win of The Diamond One in the $70,000 White Robe Lodge Handicap at Wingatui on Saturday.

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Steve Anderton became the fourth member of the Anderton clan to train a White Robe Lodge Handicap winner when The Diamond One prevailed in the feature race at Wingatui on Saturday.

The White Robe Lodge Handicap (1600m) has become the major race of the Otago Racing Club. It carried a stake of $70,000 on Saturday and Group III status.

Anderton was keen to win the race on his home track.

The Diamond One stepped up from winning a listed 1200m event at Wingatui on Boxing Day and there is an expectation that she will succeed at the highest level. Anderton and her owners, the Dennis brothers, Tony , Ray, Joe and Martin, of Woodlands are now viewing the $200,0000 Haunui Farm Classic, a Group I weight-for-age 1600m at Otaki on February 22..

''She ate up good last night and all going well we will head to Otaki,'' Anderton said.

He said he would need to find out more about what races were available for a 4-year-old mare in Brisbane before committing to a winter campaign there.

''I think she will get over ground but I don't want to race her beyond a mile this campaign,'' he said.

''Another option is the group New Zealand Breeders' Stakes (1600m) for fillies and mares at Te Aroha on April 5.''

Anderton was quick to acknowledge the part played by his wife, Claire in the win.

Claire has been the major carer for The Diamond One in the past month with Anderton in Auckland preparing The Solitaire and The Glitzy One. He flew to Dunedin on Saturday and returned to Auckland yesterday.

The White Robe Lodge Handicap, sponsored by Brian and Lorraine Anderton of the North Taieri breeding and training establishment, was first run in 1974 for a stake of $5000. Hector Anderton, grandfather of Steve, owned and trained the 1982 winner, Powley. Brian Anderton, an uncle of Steve, trained A Gordon For Me to win in 1992 and 93. Brian had his son Shane as a training partner when successful with Perceptible in 2002.

The Dennis brothers owned and trained The Fantasy to win the White Robe in 1980 and 81. The Fantasy was a half-sister by Gate Keeper to The Dimple (by Noble Bijou), the great granddam of The Diamond One.

El Chico, a gallant second under 59kg, half a length from The Diamond One on Saturday, belongs to the same family, tracing to The Kurd (Kurdistan -Eager Lady).

It was the first win in a White Robe Lodge Handicap for jockey Chris Johnson. He first rode in the race 30 years ago, finishing third on Clansman behind Gaffa and The Dimple.

Johnson, 49, won the $50,000 Dunedin Cup for the fourth time on Saturday when he edged Alpine Heights between horses in the dying stages. Alpine Heights won by half a head from Dickens with half a head to Monachee and a nose to Captain Todd.

Johnson had his other Dunedin Cup wins on Million Joys (1986), Sea Swift (1987) and Seagers (1992).

Alpine Heights capped a a big day for the Balcairn stable of John and Karen Parsons. They also won with Southern Power, Anabel Rose and Mikabella on the premier day. Alpine Heights has now won 11 races and $190,000 for Alexandra breeder, Peter Lyon.

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The $50,000 Dunedin Guineas was a triumph for Brian Anderton and his family when Include held off the fast finishing El Doute by a nose. Brian is the trainer of Include with Shane. Include is raced by Brian's daughter, Karen Stewart and her husband Wayne, the managers of the stud operation at White Robe Lodge. They bred Include, who is by the stud sire, Gallant Guru.

Include gave stable apprentice Courtney Barnes, 19, her biggest win.

The Stewarts were in Auckland on Saturday to offer yearlings at the festival sale at Karaka yesterday. The stud sold a Raise The Flag - Emerald Fire filly for $147,500 on Friday. The half sister to Inferno was bought by to Roger Finlay, of Christchurch, a client of the Riccarton stable of Kevin and Pam Hughes. She was the top priced filly at the three day New Zealand Bloodstock select sale when 416 horses were sold. She is the highest priced yearling sold by Brian and Lorraine Anderton, who have been vendors at sales for 45 years. Raise The Flag, who stands at White Robe, was the leading sire on averages for the select sale with three lots sold for an average of $86,667. White Robe was also the leading vendor on averages for three or more lots sold. The first crop of Raise The Flag are 2-year-olds.

Four colts by Raise The Flag were sold at prices of $57,500 (out of Cherry Creek), $55,500 (Turn The Page), $40,000 (Ardent Fire) and $20,000 (Renee Maree).

- The Southland Times

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