Coriander adds spice on day of upsets
Coriander was one of several double figure winners at the Taumarunui meeting at Te Rapa on Saturday, returning her backers better than 18-to-one and heading up a near $3500 trifecta and an $8000-plus first four.
That was the theme of the day with on-pace runners proving nigh on impossible to run down which suited the likes of Coriander, a natural front runner, and the pattern was the launching pad for a number of form reversals and subsequent upset results.
Not that Kristine Stead, the owner, trainer and breeder of Coriander was complaining, she was simply delighted to see her mare back in the winner's circle when she beat home Princess Nicole and Achoo in the 1200m race.
The win helped ease the pain of a recent injury Stead sustained which prevented her from undertaking her usual strapping duties.
Working one of her team on Raglan beach a few weeks ago, the horse stumbled and fell dislodging Stead and rolling on her breaking an arm. The healing process has been complicated and the arm had to be re-broken and screws inserted limiting the trainer's activities.
Former Cambridge trainer, Martin Cleland about to embark on a farming venture, has helped out and rode Coriander in final fast work at Te Rapa before Saturday's win.
With husband, Marshall, pre-occupied as duty farrier at Te Rapa, the couple's son, Jacob, 24, a trainee pilot with Sunair in Gisborne, helped out on race-day with saddling and strapping duties.
"It's the first time he's led a horse into the parade ring but he's got a really neat nature, he loves horses and he's a natural with them," Kristine said. "He thinks it's easy now especially because he had a bet and made some money."
The Coriander camp went into Saturday's race, hopeful, rather than confident.
"She's got to have everything go her way," Stead said. "Trudy [Thornton] rode her perfectly and didn't cover an inch of extra ground from the wide draw ."
Now five and only having her 16th start, Coriander was recording win number two and has earned $37,000 for her patient conditioner.
"We've had our fair share of problems with her. Things have just gone wrong for her with illness and injury."
With problems overcome Stead is looking to continue the roll at New Plymouth on July 19 in a 1400m race.
"She's no champion but when things go her way she's competitive and she's a really nice horse to do anything with."
Which might be just as well as her trainer copes with the inconvenience of her injured arm.