Five to Follow - 21 November
RIDE OF THE WEEK
Craig Grylls - Puntura
From barrier 16, Craig Grylls waited until the 1200m mark to let the field sort themselves out before making the winning decision to roll around and take the lead. He rolled to the top of the Couplands Mile field and then just stacked them up and run the race as he liked. Coming to the corner he sat quiet as he knew he had plenty of horse left under him and when he extended Puntura, they got out to an unassailable lead. It was a bold move early, but it was without a doubt a winning one. A perfectly executed move and a well-controlled race from one of our premier jockeys.
At just her third race day start, she was almost a very unlucky beaten story here. She found plenty of trouble when looking to make her run at the top of the straight, but it was when Masa Hashizume was able to find clear air that this filly launched hard late in the race. She showed a real will to win and with 2 wins from just 3 starts now, I’d suggest the stable will start to look for some black type targets for this tough filly.
You would have to look long and hard to find a horse that deserves the “running hot” title more than Lord Donavan. Three wins in the space of 7 days is hard to comprehend and even harder to achieve. After dominating on Days 1 & 2 of cup week at Riccarton, all eyes were on the son of Lord as he stepped up in grade and had to carry top weight on Saturday. From gate 16 he was posted wide early and stayed there throughout, but Kate Hercock didn’t panic and trusted the horse under her. He presented with a bold run and probably peaked on his run inside the last 100m but his will to win was too strong and he secured a very memorable treble.
It was a win for the connections of Brian Lamont and all of those who took the early price for him at Ruakaka on Tuesday. Opening at $9 punters had a fill up as Brian Lamont closed at $4.40 when the field jumped. He was given a peach of a ride from Warren Kennedy and as they say, the rest is history. With the showy chestnut driving through the field late and holding off all challengers to score by a Long Head on the line.
She has pieced together a sensational record so far and her improvement curve is hard to chart. Jumping as race favourite, she was hammered as the gates opened and had to settle back last, something no one would have expected for her here. Taken up the inside on the older ground and sprinting to the lead past the field of horses, she was just pipped late on the line by a proven Group performer. We know she has stacks of ability, but we can now confirm she deserves her place in these Group level sprints.