Clean sweep for champion stable
The country’s leading trainers have continued their recent domination of a Te Rapa Group Two feature with this year’s winner completing a stunning stakes double on the Hamilton course.
Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have enjoyed a stellar run in the Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) with past successes with Lady Kipling (2011), Diademe (2013), Sports Illustrated (2014) and last season with Coldplay.
|Lizzie L'Amour Photo: Trish Dunell Photography|
It was the turn on Saturday of Lizzie L’Amour, who led home a stable trifecta 12 months to the day since she claimed top honours in the Gr.3 Waikato Cup (2400m).
The Zabeel mare was making her first appearance since a disappointing spring campaign in Melbourne where she failed to flatter in four appearances.
“In Australia she didn’t exhibit this sort of form and I don’t know why – she’s not called Dizzy Lizzie for nothing,” Baker said. “She had been working well though.”
Lizzie L’Amour sat outside the leader Stolen Dance and she finished bravely under rider Matthew Cameron.
“She’s obviously a very good mare when she’s right and it was a good ride from Matt, he got his tactics right,” Baker said.
The favourite Love Affair did well to come from the back of the field, on a day when there was a bias toward on pace runners, to finish runner-up in her first crack at weight-for-age. Stolen Dance boxed on strongly for third.
“It’s very satisfying and a big surprise, I thought Love Affair would be very hard to beat,” Baker said. “She’s a very good horse and her turn will come.”
Lizzie L’Amour will now defend her crown in the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) on Boxing Day at Ellerslie where she will renew her rivalry with Stolen Dance. Plans for Love Affair have yet to be confirmed. – NZ Racing Desk.