Group Three victory to Woodstone the highlight of a five win day for the stable
It had been a long time between drinks - 16 months to be correct - but Robert never lost the faith in open class trotter Woodstone being able to get back to his best form. Last night at Alexandra Park, Woodstone delivered in style, showing toughness over the 2700m trip to outstay favourite and stablemate Pretty Majestic in what was a big run after sitting parked for the last lap in the Group Three Greenlane Cup.
Appreciating a let-up in the handicaps, Woodstone began splendidly from his 20m handicap, settling into a great spot three back the markers for Peter Ferguson. When stablemate Pretty Majestic made her run forward at the 1100m, he elected to pop off the markers into a parked spot for the remainder of the trip. Well rated by Peter, Woodstone did look to travel as well as any turning for home, with only Pretty Majestic looking much of a threat. Driven to the front at the 200m, he found a kick and try as she might, the mare could not reel him in, going down by one and a quarter lengths.
The win would have been a thrill for owners Colin and Nancy Hair, who have faced such a frustrating run with their trotters, with both Woodstone and the hugely talented Sundees Son, having experienced significant issues when at the top of their game. Last night's win was the 10th for him from 41 starts and takes his stakes to over $133,000.
Win ten of his career for a brave Woodstone
Earlier in the night, it was again Peter Ferguson who delivered with another supposed second stringer from the stable, when You Really Got Me gained a good win at big odds. Favourite in the race was stablemate Resonate, which got tangled up early losing all chance. You Really Got Me on the other hand found his best manners for once, stepping, but ending up parked throughout. He relaxed beautifully in the breeze, also travelled a treat for Peter and kicked much too good for his opposition getting home in 3.30.8 for the 2700m, a convincing three length winner.
You Really Got Me delivers at big odds for Peter Ferguson
Four of You Really Got Me's owners are also involved in the ownership of Pride and Passion, the short-priced favourite in the Delightful Lady Classic. The early win must have given them huge hopes for a big night, but sadly it was not to be on the night as the filly, which started from what turned out a tricky second row barrier hung badly throughout, while also overracing. She put in a huge run despite all of her difficulties to run 4th beaten just one and a quarter lengths by upset winner She No Lady. She is clearly much better than last night's run and we look to see the best of her in the coming weeks.
Above N Beyond contested the Great Northern Derby which was won superbly by outstanding filly Amazing Dream. He failed to run up to his best form finishing well back.
Earlier in the day, we also had success with three runners at Westport. Prodigal Guinness was the first of these, leading throughout for Tim Williams and delivering his maiden win for the Poronui Family Trust. He will back up tomorrow at Reefton.
Prodigal Guinness delivers his maiden win for Tim Williams
Anamajor had been racing in much stronger fields and gained a deserved win in Race Nine. Back early from the wide draw, she was put into the race at the 1600m by Tim Williams. Able to find the lead from that point, she always travelled like a winner. Let down with her run at the 200m she quickly found a winning advantage, going to the line a three and a quarter length winner. She will tackle the cup tomorrow at Reefton.
Anamajor delivers the 4th win of her career in emphatic fashion
Our final winner came in the ladies race, where Glenys Chmiel combined with Kensington Bill in what was the second win of that horse's four start career. After holding the early lead, Kensington Bill was attacked throughout. Looking under siege to both his inside and his outside at the 200m, he somehow found some great reserves of stamina to hold on for a brave victory. Well done to both horse and driver, as this was some run.
Kensington Bill as tough as anything wins the ladies race for Glenys Chmiel
With five wins on the day, Robert has now taken a four win lead in the premiership. With nice chances both today and tomorrow, he could well extend this by the end of the weekend.
Posted: Sat 07 Mar 2020