Gutsy Soriano, Allpress end winning drought

Soriano picked up a deserved black type success and ended a drought for top female rider Lisa Allpress, when she scored a decisive 1 1/2 length win in the Group 3 $70,000 Ezibuy Eulogy Stakes (1600m), at yesterday's Manawatu meeting.

The Savabeel filly's one previous win was in a 1200-metre two-year-old race at Te Rapa 10 months ago, but she was close up in several major races since then, including a fourth in the Group 1 Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie, fourth in the Group 2 Wellington Guineas at Trentham, and third in the Group 1 Levin Classic at Otaki.

Allpress, 37, was the leading jockey in New Zealand last season and was leading this year's premiership up until Friday, but had not ridden a winner for 20 race days before yesterday.

"That's a relief," Allpress quipped after unsaddling Soriano. "It's been a long time between drinks."

Allpress has now recorded 58 black type wins and is closing in on the magical 1000 wins, with her career tally now at 984.

Soriano is trained at Hamilton by the husband-and-wife combination of Graeme and Debbie Rogerson and is owned by Denise Howell, who is the secretary for their stable.

Former Central Districts trainer Garry Barlow is now working for the Rogersons and was in charge of their runners at Awapuni yesterday.

He saddled up two winners, with Duelista also taking out the opening race on the programme.

Barlow, a former jockey, says he only rides one horse in work and that is Soriano.

"She's just a lovely filly and has a beautiful attitude," Barlow said.

"She's travelled to Trentham, Riccarton, Otaki and now here in recent weeks and nothing worries her. Her one great attribute is that she never leaves a feed," he added.

Soriano earned a valuable six points in the three-year-old Filly of the Year series and is now expected to contest the next race in the series, the Eight Carat Classic (1600m), at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.

Riccarton-trained Emerald Queen was the best of those behind Soriano yesterday, three-quarters of a length in front of third-placed Lovetessa, who had to change ground twice to get clear in the home straight.

Meanwhile, Workingclass, lucky to be still racing after cracking a cannon bone nine months ago, broke through for a deserved maiden win.

Trainer Kevin Gray said the O'Reilly mare pulled up sore after finishing third over 1600 metres at Awapuni track in March and underwent an operation at Massey University that night.

"She had four or five screws put in her leg and we've just had to be patient with her," Gray said.

Workingclass had recorded a second, two seconds and a third from six starts before yesterday.

Sunday Star Times