Almost the perfect day out at Invercargill

While there were just the two stable reps at yesterday's Invercargill Cup day meet, you could not help but be impressed by the efforts of both.

American Tart is only a 3yr old filly and after travelling north the previous week to launch a successful debut at Marlborough, she made the long trip south for her second outing yesterday. In what appeared on paper a pretty competitive field, American Tart drew the inside barrier and had no problems holding up for the early lead. The early lead time was cut out in quick time, but the big American Ideal filly never let up, continuing to run smart sectionals. Closely attended by Ultimate Desire from the 1100m, the two fillies were allowed to run down the back straight, seemingly having most off the bit. Coming to the turn though and it was soon apparent that American Tart had far more in the tank than any other runner and was allowed more rein by John. She put a couple of lengths on the field at the 200m and maintained a strong run to the line to win by two and three quarter lengths over a game Ultimate Desire, with Scarlett Desire putting in good strides for third.

As stunning as this win was, with the filly having only her second race start, the time of 2.39.9 was nothing short of sensational. It is very rare that 2.40 is broken for the 2200m on the Invercargill track, let alone by a 3yr old filly. The mile rate was 1.56.9 and she ran home the last 800m in 55.5 and the 400m in 27.4.

John was delighted by the victory and seemed quite stunned how far the filly has come in such a short time. He declared that she will most probably return south for the Kindergarten Stakes Day at Wyndham on 20 February where she would contest a a C1 event for the fillies and mares over the mile. In the longer term, the Southland Oaks is clearly on the radar, while events such as the NZ Oaks and Harness Jewels cannot be ruled out if she is able to keep taking steps forward.

American Tart was probably the standout winner on the day winning over the 2200m in 2.39.9

Later in the day and Cullect A Guinness faced a tough assignment in the day's feature the cup, but put in a massive effort to go down in the shadows of the post to southerner and favourite Costa Del Magnifico.

Cullect A Guinness stepped well from his 30m handicap and soon settled in a handy enough position three back on the outer. At the 2200m, having sensed that the brakes were being applied up front, John was off and after a brief tussle Cullect A Guinness assumed the front from the 2000m. Once he found the top, there were no futher moves and he was allowed to get away with some cheap sectionals at times. From the 800m, John asked his charge to get serious and he put some real speed into the race. Comimg to the turn and there looked only one serious challenger and it was the horse on his back, Costa Del Magnifico. At the 100m, and Cullect A Guinness looked like he was doing enough, but in a driving finish the southerner packed the slightly bigger punch, going to the line a narrow winner by a head in 4.01.1 for the 3200m. Cullect A Guinness was superb in defeat, going an adjusted time of 3.58.8 in defeat.

Yesterday's second continues a massive season for the Gotta Go Cullect 5yr old in which he has won the seven races. There are few more genuine racehorses going around than this fella at the moment and he has done a superb job for owner Peter Higinbottom. His next target is still undecided, but it would be no surprise to see him at Waikouaiti for their cup next week.



Cullect A Guinness was tough in defeat in yesterday's Invercragil Cup at Group Three level

Posted: Sun 31 Jan 2016