Danse Macabre completes a good weekend for the stable
After a quiet first week to the season, the season tally now sits at two wins, after wins on Friday night with Natural and today at Rangiora with Danse Macabre (in picture).
Natural earned the 4th win of her 42 start career on Friday in the hands of Jack MacKinnon. After starting well, she secured a nice trail until the 1000m mark, when pulled out to assume the front. While eyeballed by Acougarzun coming to the turn, she was always full of running, pulling away in the staright to win decisively by five lengths in 2.52.3 for the 2200m stand. With her good manners a huge assist, Natural should continue to race well heading into the spring.
With John away in Melbourne, it was Gavin Smith that secured the drive with Danse Macabre in the last of the day at Rangiora. Away well from her handy draw off the gate, she led throughout, but appeared under seige on the turn. Under the strong urgings of Gavin, she kept kicking over the last 100m, having to dig deep to hold out late finishers in Ranfurly Rulz and Major Four. An Art Major 4yr old, Danse Macabre has been in wonderfully conistent form since joining the stable. In her five starts, she not finished any further back than 3rd for owner Pat O'Brien.
Meanwhile, Franco Cristiano produced a very encouraging third in his first run in Melbourne last night. Taken back from his wide draw John elected to follow Our Waikiki Beach as that runner made a run with slightly more than a lap to go. Inside the final lap, he was parked outside favourite Menin Gate, with Our Waikiki Beach on his back in the one-one. As the field approached the 400m, the frontrunner really started to up the tempo, but Franco Cristiano held tough turning for home. After momentarily going up to challenge Menin Gate, it was Our Waikiki Beach that would hold too many guns in the last 100m after a nice run. Menin Gate held on strongly for second, with Franco Cristiano a very strong third. John commented before the race that there was plenty of improvement in the horse so is sure to be very happy with his strong fighting run and can look positively forward to the Breeders Crown semi final next week.
Posted: Sun 14 Aug 2016