It was a good night for the girls at Addington
Group racing returned to Addington last evening with the Group Two Garrards Premier Mares Championship. While champion mare Amazing Dream was again too good, Need You Now put in the run of her life to run that great mare to head, in the process suggesting that Group win may not be far away.
As predicted pre-race, Need You Now was quickest off the gate, leading at a good clip, until Amazing Dream came with her move at the 1200m. Johnny was quite happy to take a sit on this occasion, banking on the fact that the Hayden Cullen trained mare may be vulnerable having worked over the first 800m. While Amazing Dream was able to get away with a soft quarter from the 800m, attended to her outside by southern mare Watch Me Now, she immediately applied the pressure from the 400m, meaning that turning in, it had turned into a two horse race. Try as she might up the length of the Addington straight, Need You Now came up a head short at the line, with plenty of kudos going to both of the first two home.
On a very cool January night in Christchurch, the 1980m trip was cut out in 2.20.8, just 0.5 seconds outside the New Zealand record set by Amazing Dream when defeating Need You Now on Show Day. With the last 800m cut out in 55.6 and the last 400m 26.4, there was never going to be any chance for those in behind to run on.
The other stable runner in the race Spellbound, was always back from her wide draw and can hopefully get a better marble in the Group One New Zealand Breeders Stakes in a fortnight.
Need You Now as brave as ever running second behind Amazing Dream
The sole winner on the night for Diamond Racing, was the short-priced commodity Shanika (in picture), in Race Five. Good off the gate, Shanika led early, before handing up to second favourite Still Truckin. In what was only a moderate tempo throughout, Shanika travelled beautifully for John. Presented with the passing lane after turning in, she cruised through to take the lead and went to the line, with plenty still to offer, two lengths clear at the line.
A three year old Bettor's Delight filly, Shanika is a full sister to Miss Daisy and Code Black, both of which raced with success in New Zealand before crossing the Tasman. Owned by Wendy Nordqvist and the Templeton Family Trust she has done a good job in her first ten starts, with the one win and six placings. Placed in Listed company behind the talented La Rosa at her previous start, Shanika looks one that should prosper through the late summer and autumn.
Shanika was a convincing winner in Race Five
There were two other placed runners on the night.
The Player ran home with real purpose from well back over the 1980m in Race Two. He continues to be one of the most honest horses going around.
Anamajor like The Player is a model of consistency. After getting well back from a wide draw in the last of the night, she flew home over the last 100m for Tim Williams to run third, beaten just a half head and a head in a blanket finish.
Posted: Sat 30 Jan 2021