News In Brief
Touching maiden success
Polzeath recorded a poignant victory for Rich Hill Stud at Avondale on Thursday.
The lightly-tried five-year-old is a son of the recently deceased Pentire, who was the farm’s foundation stallion.
The Moira and Kieran Murdoch-trained Polzeath is part-owned by Rich Hill’s John Thompson and was making just his third race day appearance and first for five months.
“The owners have been extremely patient,” Moira Murdoch said, “He’s raced by John and Peter Merton, who has also been a great Pentire fan.”
A further connection to the Walton, near Matamata, nursery was provided by the successful jockey Jasmine Fawcett.
“My first job was at Rich Hill Stud so I was very happy to get the ride,” she said.
Weight may break winless run
Mighty Solomon is well-placed in the handicap at Otaki on Friday to break a lengthy drought.
The seven-year-old will carry 53.5kg in the Listed Fasttrack Insurance Levin Stakes (1200m) in his quest for his first win since he was successful in an open handicap at Hawke’s Bay in February, 2015.
“He’s got to a good place in the weights now and he has trained on very well since his last run,” trainer Lisa Latta said.
Mighty Solomon, who has placed at Group One level, got home well at his most recent appearance at Awapuni for a close second behind Shadow Fox. He meets that runner a kilo and a-half better off on Friday.
Mofara ready to run
Cambridge trainers David and Emma-Lee Browne are expecting a recently-gelded Mofara to start showcasing his Derby potential, beginning with Friday's Gr.3 Lucia Valentina Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Otaki.
“He's doing really well. He's been gelded and his race last time was much better,” Emma-Lee Browne said.
“Every day he's settling down a bit more. He's going to enjoy the step up in trip and we expect him to finish off well.
“Even though he's a maiden, we're looking to get into some bigger races later on. At this stage, everything is focused on the Derby.”
The Brownes will also saddle trial-winning two-year-old Hattie Bee in the Fasttrack Insurance 2YO Premier (1000m) at Otaki.
Trainers in hot form
A family well known to Moira Murdoch brought up a winning treble for her and daughter Kieran at Avondale on Thursday.
They rounded off a rewarding day when Iffindoubt capped off a bright start to his career with victory in the GCS Logistics Maiden (1400m).
The promising son of Iffraaj is out of the Not A Single Doubt mare Belle De Jeu, who won four races from Murdoch’s stable with her debut success coming at the expense of the subsequent dual Group One winner Katie Lee.
Iffindoubt ran fourth in his only start last season and was runner-up when opening his current campaign behind Motivation at Te Aroha.
“He got beaten by a pretty smart horse at his last-start so second-up he looked a good chance,” winning rider Leith Innes said. “He won nicely and will get over a bit more ground.”
The Murdochs had earlier been successful with Polzeath and Pokuru Nugget.