News In Brief
Age group features beckon Taupo winner
Black type racing awaits Wandering Eye who had no trouble in going one better at Taupo on Friday.
Runner-up first time out behind Sophie’s Choice, the son of Commands led all the way under Michael McNab to win the Peter Thomas Transport 1200 from the debutante Spring Heat, who closed gamely.
“He ran really well on debut at Ruakaka behind what looks a smart one,” said Jamie Richards, who trains with Stephen Autridge. “It was a good, positive ride from Michael for a really good win.
“We’ll see how he does and there are plenty of nice races for him like the Sarten Memorial.”
Wandering Eye is among the entries for the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas, but there was no joy for fellow classic aspirant Hangar. The even money favourite parted company with Leith Innes at barrier rise.
“It’s quite clear that Pierian Spring began awkwardly and shifted out and made contact with Hangar, who took fright and ducked out,” stipendiary steward Alan Coles said.
Group One owners enjoy Taupo victory
Successful Australian breeder-owners Donna and Rob Love made a splash at Taupo on Friday when their filly Serenity opened her three-year-old season in fine fashion.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained daughter of Per Incanto, who ran fourth in her only juvenile start, finished resolutely to claim the thick end of the stake in the DPA Chartered Accountants Maiden (1300m).
Serenity was a $60,000 Karaka purchase out of Ardsley Stud’s Ready to Run Sale draft by prominent Sydney bloodstock agent James Harron, who also bought the Love’s Gr.1 Oakleigh Plate winner Shamal Wind.
Mare makes perfect start to spring campaign
Red Tsunami finished fourth in the Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) last year and she’s on target for another crack at the Group Two feature in November.
Formerly trained by co-breeder and part-owner Bruce Manssen, she resumed from a seven month break at Taupo from Stephen Ralph’s stable and made an immediate impact with victory in the Farmlands Taupo Handicap (1300m).
“Many thanks to Bruce, who’s done an amazing job with her, for giving us a go,” Ralph said. “She’s only about 420kg, but she’s all heart.”
“We’ll see how she is and then work out whether we go straight to the Breeders’ Stakes or give her another race somewhere.”