Its six of the best for Team RJD
When you have 28 stable runners engaged in the space of 54 hours and over two islands you know that things are going to be a little busy!
This is the scenario that Robert, John and their massive support team faced starting today. That six winners were achieved today - 2 at Amberley and 4 at Franklin is testament to the abilities of all concerned - Poi, Matt, Sam, Craig, Ross, Jenna...........the list goes on. Top work guys!
The day started well as Matt Purvis combined with a stable favourite in Graduate Under Fire in 2.31.5 for the 1950m on the grass. A final quarter cut out in 27.6 paid paid to any late challanges. Matt was generous in his praise for the horse. "He's such a good horse to drive and he just loves the grass tracks."
"John was actually keen for me to go back early from the draw, but I saw that most of them had the same idea so I let him slide forward. Once we found the top I was always pretty confident."
The Courage Under Fire 6yr old has done a great job for his owners Mr and Mrs Beale of Hilderthorpe. Today's win was his 7th, with a further 17 placings from 59 starts. He has bankrolled $62,846.
Later in the day, there was further success for the Westview Team as Artismee driven by Sam Ottley recorded win 3 from 15 starts for their Number Three Syndicate. The Arstplace 4yr old worked hard early contesting the early lead and was then shuffled back from the 800m. He was the widest runner turning for home and giving the leaders at least 5 lengths. However, his barnstorming finish was too much for the pacemaking Take After Me. He now looks to be rediscovering the form that he promised as a 2yr old.
This was Sam's second win for the day after tasting suceess early on the card with the Peter and Leonie Jones trained Major Patron.
Win three of the day was possibly the most overdue of any runner in the stable. The Ian Dobson owned Little Rascal is a well regarded horse within the stable. However, a combination of poor draws and hot fields have meant that he was still a maiden. Until tonight!
Driven positively early from his wide draw, it took 600m before the 3yr old Panspacificflight gelding was able to find the lead. From there, John was able to dominate from the top and eventually ran out a convincing 2.5 length winner over the 2200m. He looks sure to reward his patient connections further in the coming weeks.
Robert has always had a high opinion of 2yr old Bettor's Delight colt Code Black. Owned by Ross and Angela Gordon, he had produced good runs in strong company in his first two starts. A strong workout win last Saturday only enhanced the confidence going into tonight.
After an early tussle for the lead, John found the top and as he does best was able to dominate from there. The 1700m was cut out in a slick 2.05.08, the last 800m in 58.9 and the last 400m in 29.3. The horse was strong to the line and held on comfortably to run out a 1 length winner.
The stable had real confidence in their 3yr olds Robbie Burns and Say My Name in the 5th of the night. Both have had their share of problems and for owners Ross and Angela, it was as much about getting their highly regarded pair back on the track and through the race nice and safely.
From the draw, Robbie Burns always appeared to have a big advantage and this is the way that it worked out. It was no walk in the park though as after working hard to get the lead early, he was always vulnearble late in the race and over the 2700m trip. However, he toughed it out to win by the barest of margins, with stablemate Say My Name storming home out wide for third. Bigger targets loom for the pair over the next couple of months.
Win six and a great end to the day came with the shortest priced runner for the team, the Mach Three 4yr old No Doctor Needed. Driven off the pace early, John waited until the 800m before launching and quickly assumed control. While tested for a time in the home straight by a game First Home, he knuckled down to John's urgings to win by a comfortable length. He was recording win 7 from just the 15 race starts. He is such a genuine racehorse and will no doubt be set targets over the upcoming Auckland Cup carnival.
So all in all, well done team! Now onwards and upwards to Ashburton tomorrow - 9 runners and Sunday Waikouaiti - 6 runners.
Posted: Fri 06 Feb 2015