Diamonds dominate at Nelson
While the recent coast circuit showed the stable up to good effect, day one at Nelson today has been an absolute belter with winning runs for four stable runners, all of which were driven by John and further strengthening his hold on second placing in this year's premiership.
Kotare Yael had been consistent in all of his five runs for the stable before today and was confidently expected to deliver his maiden win. He stepped well from his good draw and raced in a good spot one out, one back for much of the first lap. As soon as the pace eased, John sent the Mach Three 3yr old to the front with a lap to go. He was allowed a good run on top over the next 800m and it looked a very confident John Dunn turning for home. While he was given a late scare by a fast finisher in Sandoval, he always had the race in safe keeping. The 2400m stand was cut out in 3.04.9, home in 800m 58 and 400m 28.1.
Owned by Tony and Gay Abell and Kotare Downs Ltd, Kotare Yael in the 7th foal to race out of Extra B G and a half brother to the former star juvenile Kotare Mach - 43 starts, 13 wins. He does appeal as the type of horse that can now go on with things.
A race later and it was finally the winning turn of nice 3yr old Bite The Bullet (Mach Three - Pistol Packing Mama.) A horse that has had little luck all season, but has regularly put in top runs, Bite The Bullet again had things against him today after having to come off the outside barrier from the mobile.
John was clear on his intentions early on, sending the favourite forward and being able to dictate as he likes to do off the top. While he faced moderate pressure from Tirol's Rocket over the last 800m, the race was in safekeeping a long way out. After heading for home two lengths clear, he was allowed to extend over the last 200m, winning by a comfortable three lengths in 3.03.1 for the 2400m mobile, after running home 800m 57.0 and 400m 28.0.
Today's win was Bite The Bullet's first win in 13 starts and with five placings he has earned over $17,000 in stakes for owners Alan and Ian Neumann and B.W. Clarke.
John has always had a high opinion of this guy and feels that the best has yet to be seen of him. "He's got unbelievable speed when saved for one run. Hopefully one day he can cop a good draw, be able to take a sit and show that speed."
Bite The Bullet was good enough to run in November's Sires Stakes final and put in a good run for 6th on that occasion. Based on today's authoriative win, win two should not be long coming and he must be one to follow on day two.
Bite The Bullet after running second at Ashburton at his last start
Another 3yr old that has shown ability in the past, but blew its chances second up at Ashburton was filly Kotare Kasai. Also owned by the Abells and Kotare Downs, Kotare Kasai had raced some pretty handy types in her first five starts and it did look a big drop back in many respects today. A recent winning trial from the stand gave further confidence to her chances.
Today, she stepped beautifully and was able to push forward to take the lead after 500m. Enjoying a nice run in front until the 800m, she faced a lot of pressure from Croft Bay from the 800m. Turning in and the two were locked together in front and from the 150m were joined by Ardent Lustre that had pushed through from the trail. In a driving finish. she narrowly managed to outlast Ardent Lustre by a nose with Croft Bay just a head away in third.
Kotare Kasai is a Changeover filly, out of Kotare Kept and is the third to race out of that mare, the other two being winners also. No doubt she will take a lot of confidence from today's win and hopefully we will see her in some of the better fillies races later in the season.
Kotare Kasai at Ashburton on Boxing Day, registered a nice maiden win today.
The fourth and final win for today came with Dalness Xchange. A smart winner on debut, Dalness Xchange had run some nice races since that maiden win, but had little luck all the same. Those that saw her unlucky run for 4th at Ashburton on Boxing Day had few doubts that win two would be far away and so it proved today.
Dalness Xchange stepped well early and enjoyed a nice run on the outer over the first mile, before being sent forward by John from the 800m. She loomed up to the pacemaker Collection on the turn and after a very confident look over his shoulder at the 250m, John sent her for home, immediately putting two lengths on them. The further they went, the further in front she got, eventually registering a smart win by three and a quarter lengths in 3.01.1 for the 2400m stand.
A 4yr old mare Dalness Xchange is owned by Mr D. H. and Mrs H. D. King. A Changeover mare out of Impacts Dream, her grand-dam is the good race mare Impact - 15 starts, 8 wins. With her good manners, she looks an easy mare to place for her coming starts.
Dalness Xchange after one of her early race starts at Geraldine
Other notable runs from stable runners today included:
Graduate Under Fire - a nice run for second in the cup prelude behind Rocker Band after trailling throughout.
Joey Maguire - also a good second behind Free Falling after having trailled all the way.
Posted: Fri 08 Jan 2016