Hermione repays the faith for McKay

JAMIE SEARLE
Last updated 05:00 17/02/2014
Jack Wong
TAYLER STRONG
APPRENTICE: Jack Wong had a rewarding day at Ascot Park on Saturday.

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Hermione, who was rejected by two syndicates in the spring, posted her fourth at Ascot Park on Saturday.

She and Arn't I Choice gave trainer Sally McKay the quinella in the Speight's Handicap.

McKay bought Hermione for $1000 at a Karaka sale in May.

''I got her for a syndicate but they didn't want her,'' McKay said.

''I offered her to another syndicate after she had had a fourth and two seconds and they didn't want her.''

McKay held on to the ownership and has won $26,730 with Hermione this season.

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Christchurch apprentice Jack Wong picked up a win and two seconds from four rides on Saturday.

His winner, The Groomsman, won the Mitavite Handicap, but caused a few anxious moments by veering out near the finish. Wong's placegetters were Admiral Rous (Southland Guineas) and Arn't I Choice (Speight's Handicap).

The rider thought Admiral Rous might have finished closer to Guineas winner Include if he had not hung during the running.

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Sucre embellished her Ascot Park record by winning the G J Gardner Homes-Southland Stakes. Her seven starts on the Invercargill track have yielded four wins and two placings.

Trainer and part-owner Sean Bellew is preparing Sucre for a $25,000 open mile at Wingatui on March 8 and the $70,000 Valachi Downs South Island Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes at Riccarton on March 22.

After the Riccarton feature Bellew will decide on whether to campaign Sucre in Australia.

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A $15,000 Pearl Series race at Wingatui on March 8 is likely for Belle Miraaj.

She made it two wins from as many starts when taking out the Coupland's Bakeries 2-Year-Old on Saturday. She was ridden by Amber Edmeads.

''I haven't pushed her yet . . . there's a lot more to come,'' Edmeads said.

Ascot Park trainer Gay Robinson and Heddon Bush sheep farmer John Dooley own Belle Miraaj.

''We think she could be something special, but it's early days,'' Mr Dooley said.

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Black Stockings, runner-up in the Southland Times-Invercargill Gold Cup, will head to the $500,000 Auckland Cup on March 5.

''We moved into it nicely, but before we straightened, the winner [Our Bee Jay] was gone,'' jockey Chris Johnson said of Black Stockings' effort on Saturday.

''I think she's better on a firmer track.''

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- The Southland Times

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