Local causes boil over in Livamol Classic
In a thrilling finish to the rescheduled Gr. 1 Livamol Classic local galloper Wait A Sec upset the applecart with a stunning victory on his home patch.
The seven-year-old has proved a revelation of late with an extended campaign netting six wins from his last 8 races including the Egmont Cup just eight days earlier. Despite the impeccable form-line he was not freely considered to be a leading contender to claim the jewel of the Hawkes Bay Spring Carnival.
|Wait A Sec Photo: Trish Dunell|
Prepared in partnership by Grant Cullen and Guy Lowry, the Postponed gelding started at odds of better than $26 as all eyes focussed on hot favourite Gingernuts. The Iffraaj four-year-old had been expected to win the original contest before it was called off a fortnight earlier when the meeting was abandoned due to adverse track conditions.
Supported on-course by an army of owners and fans in their distinctive orange caps, Gingernuts was given a comfortable trip beyond midfield throughout the race by rider Opie Bosson and loomed into contention on the point of the home turn. At this stage rider Johnathan Parkes had elected to go for a rails-hugging run on Wait A Sec who had made good ground from well back to be in behind a wall of horses as the field straightened for the run home.
Fortune favoured the brave as Parkes drove his mount through a needle-eye gap 150 metres from the post and shot to the front where he held out a blazing late charge from Gingernuts who closed quickly but came up a head short of victory. Outsider Endean Rose fought bravely to snatch a priceless elite level placing with Saint Emilion close-up in fourth.
“We tossed up about backing him up after his Egmont Cup win last week but he pulled up so well from Hawera it was hard not to,” explained Grant Cullen after the placings had been confirmed.
“This is huge for Hawkes Bay to win this race with a local, it’s a real thrill.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet but I’m sure it will by tomorrow or maybe the next day.”
Cullen admitted there was a simple key to the improved performance of Wait A Sec who has now won eleven races from 41 career starts.
“He’s just happy,” he stated.
“We’ve changed his training regime around and we work him at home and around the farm. He’s just a very happy horse and is very fit.”
Cullen admitted the horse’s main goal had been the Gr. 3 Christchurch Casino Cup in November, a target that was now likely to be revised.
“We will have to talk about where he goes as the Cup might not be so necessary now,” he advised.
“To be honest we hadn’t made any other plans as the New Zealand Cup was our goal but we will see how he pulls up and sit down and work something out.”
Race favourite Gingernuts lost nothing in defeat with rider Opie Bosson offering no excuses for the performance that saw him in front just two strides past the post. Connections will now decide on whether the four-year-old crosses the Tasman to contest the Gr. 1 Emirates Stakes on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington on 11 November. - NZ Racing Desk