Weather, fine; track, heavy (11); rail, true position.
Race 1: Wairepo Hereford Stud Maiden Hurdle, $10,000, 2750m.
Doctor Eden, having his first start as a jumper, prevailed by a nose. Gary Walsh settled Doctor Eden in third place despite the gelding racing keenly. Doctor Eden shared the lead at the second last fence, had the upper hand at the last and held off the favourite Blues Breaker. The pair came close together in the closing stages. Blues Breaker was fourth mostly and ran on gamely. There was a length and three quarters to Seeking Redemption, who made the pace with a gap of 22 lengths to Sheezoff. Doctor Eden, winner of four flat races, is trained at Invercargill by Bruce Laking for Brian Stodart.
Horse to follow: Blues Breaker.
Race 2: The Virginia Hutchison Memorial Hurdle, $20,000, open, 2750m.
Go Go Gonzo returned to his best form with a dashing win. He opened up a lead of 12 lengths at the 1000m and won by six lengths.
“It is pleasing to see him back. I had him scoped after Timaru (previous start) and there was some mucus in his lungs. I had him treated,’’ said Sean Cameron, the trainer and owner of Go Go Gonzo. Go Go Gonzo (Hamish McNeill) carried 67kg. Cameron said he may not race Go Go Gonzo again until the National meeting at Riccarton to avoid increasing his weight in the handicap. Drumgold chased Go Go Gonzo from the 1400m and held second, nine lengths clear of The Energizer, who was fourth and some 20 lengths from the leader at the 800m. Delacroix failed to flatter and finished in a gap of two lengths fourth. Additup brought up the rear after a bad jump near the 1600m.
Horse to follow: Go Go Gonzo.
Race 3: Otago Farm Machinery, $11,000, rating 75,1500m.
Gold’nguru posted his third win from six starts on the Wingatui track. Gold ‘nguru (Shankar Muniandy) trailed the pacemaker The Young Pretenda and came to the fore in the run home to win by a length. What’s Up Alf ran on from last at the 400m for second, half a length clear of Lord Beaver,who was back in the field until the straight. The Young Pretenda faded to fourth, ahead of Civic Reception and Dowry Duty, who dropped out after racing outside the leader. Gold ‘nguru, trained at Winton by Leda McNeilly for Murray Forde and the estate of Eamon Cleary, qualified as a hurdler recently.
Horse to follow: What’s Up Alf.
Race 4: Central Southland Freight, $10,000, rating 65 and jumpers, amateur riders, 1600m.
Lisa Kennedy made a triumphant return to race riding with a win on Point Proven. Kennedy, who won several races as a jumps jockey, broke her back in a fall at a point to point meeting at Levin two years ago. She is now a shepherd at Ranfurly. Point Proven, who had won the race last year with Nicola Brown the rider, disputed the pace inside Bushido and stuck to his guns to win by a long neck. Point Proven had won over hurdles at his previous start for Winton owner-trainer Greg Wright. Fly Without Wings, who trailed the leaders, ran on well along the inner for second, with three quarters of a length to Van Gogh, who finished solidly from fifth in the running. There was three quarters of a length to Bushido, ahead of Sir Ed and The Kraken. The favourite All The Drama wilted to last.
Horse to follow: Point Proven.
Race 5: KB Contractors Maiden, $10,000, 1600m.
Flying Agent came from last of nine at the 700m to win as he liked. The win was most satisfying for part-owner Dean Lawrence, the immediate past president of the Otago Racing Club, who bought the Raise The Flag –Nancy Wake gelding at the South Island sale.
“We have been patient with him,” said Lawrence of the 5yr-old trained by Brian and Shane Anderton. A Dunedin resident, Lawrence races Flying Agent with his mother-in-law Diana Duff – Staniland, of Wellington and Paul Duffus, a work colleague of Lawrence in the International Monetary Fund based in Canberra. Lawrence had success with Gallant Defender (by Gallant Guru), who was retired with a leg problem after winning three races. Flying Agent (Courtney Barnes) launched a big run wide out and won by two and a quarter lengths from Miss Catherine, who went clear at the 500m after racing handy three wide. Ringbolt ran on from the rear for third, three quarters of a length back with a similar margin to Dundee Flag, who was slow away. Ajay Tee faded to fifth.
Horse to follow: Flying Agent.
Race 6: Southern Wide Real Estate Maiden, $10,000, 1200m.
Roc Leone capped several minor placings with a win. He is a 5yr-old by Roc de Cambes – Back Country trained at Wingatui by Barbara Verlinden for Jason Coutts and Charlotte Young. Corey Campbell sent Roc Leone clear at the 900m and he won by a length and a quarter. To Sir With Love stayed on for second and She’ll Cat Choux ran on well from mid-field for third, a head back. Red Major finished on for fourth with Bet Ya Wood the best of the others, The favourite McLaughlin dropped out to last after leading early.
Horse to follow: She’ll Cat Choux.
Race 7: Wingatui Function Centre, $10,000, rating 65, 1200m.
Taponisme won in the hands of leading South Island jockey Chris Johnson. Taponisme, trained at Isla Bank (Southland) by Ian and Kerry Taplin, showed up wide out at the straight entrance from fifth and prevailed by half a length from Flicka Of Gold, who launched a determined finish from sixth at the 400m. The favourite Vice Marshall was a head back third after attending Mia Mamma in the lead. Dreaming Easy was in a gap of seven lengths fourth after racing handy .
Horse to follow: Flicka Of Gold.