Stable trifecta a first for RJ
He has trained over 1100 winners, including the winners of a New Zealand Cup and and Auckland Cup, but as far as Robert can recollect, he has never had a stable trifecta - until yesterday that is!
As was indicated on our Stable Tips page yesterday, the three stable runners in the day's last race for the C2 and C3 pacers did look to have a class edge and so it would prove.
There was plenty of early pace in the event and it was Joey Maguire that was able to find the top. However, by the mile peg, stablemate Art Critic had driven to the front after being caught wide and having done plenty of work. Art Critic faced a fair bit of pressure from the Mark Jones trained pair of first Louie Finn and then Northern Velocity which assumed the front from the 1200m. All the while, the other stablemate and warm favourite Dalness Xchange was getting a soft run in the one-one. As the field approched the turn, all three runners travelled well and just needed the gaps to deliver. At the 300m, Art Critic hooked off the leader's back and quickly charged to the lead, Joey Maguire was getting an inside run and Dalness Xchange was coming with the run out wide. As they approched the 100m and it was Art Critic and Dalness Xchange that drew clear and in the last 50m, the latter and driver Dexter gained the advantage going to the line a narrow but convincing winner by a neck in 3.01.1 for the 2400m, with Joey Maguire a further two and a quarter lengths away in third.
Stable trifecta highlight of day at Ashburton
Yesterday's win was the 4th in just 10 starts for the Changeover 4yr old mare and she seems to be getting better and better the more she understands the racing game. After appearing a certainty beaten last time out in the Marlborough Cup this did look her race to lose and so it transpired. The run of Art Critic had a lot of merit after doing her share of work and she will be one to follow. Joey Maguire ran on in a gap for his placing and was well clear of the remainder.
The win was the 55th for the stable for the season and the gap is just three now behind the Purdon/Rasmussen team who still sit atop the table on 58 wins.
The other notable run of the day was from Artful in a heat of the Nevele R for the fillies. After drawing awkwardly on the second line she was sent forward by John at the 900m, before eventually enjoying a cart home on the back of second favourite Emily Blunt. Turning for home and hotpot Talkerup stole a gap on the field, but over the last 100m Artful knuckled down to her task running the favourite to a neck, but just as importantly booking herself a spot in the final. John was delighted by her run as she returned to South Island racing.
In terms of wins for the day, the day belonged once again to Dexter, who recorded another six win bag. Aside from the win with Dalness Xchange, he recorded wins with Royal Shine, Rum Delight, Talkerup, Double Shot and most signficantly Pacing Major in the day's feature the Group Three Sapling Stakes. Dexter has now driven 114 wins for the season and the way he is driving looks odds on to beat his sesason best tally of 220 set in the 2010-2011 sesason.
Posted: Sun 07 Feb 2016