Banbury Lad wins for Liefting
‘‘He had a jump out on Monday at Pukekohe and beat a couple of good horses so I knew I had him ready to win.’’
There is an old saying ‘never look a gift horse in the mouth’ and last Saturday, at Ellerlsie Pukekohe Park, trainer Rudy Liefting’s recent ‘gift horse’ rewarded him with a win in the Mitchelson Cup.
Liefting was given Banbury Lad by his previous trainer and breeder John Graham to prepare as a jumper. The Woodbury Lad seven-year-old gelding had already won four races on the flat for Graham, before he transferred to Liefting in August.
According to Graham the horse wasn’t finished on the flat it was just a matter of Liefting getting the best out of him and a last start third at Ellerslie earlier in the month hinted that this may be the case.
‘‘I pumped the work into him and have had him out at Karioitahi beach. He had a jump out on Monday at Pukekohe and beat a couple of good horses so I knew I had him ready to win,’’ Liefting told Racing News.
And win he did, kicking clear on the turn in the 2200 metre event and going on to win by five lengths in the hands of Lynsey Satherley. If the wet tracks hang around, it looks like the jumping career might well be put on hold until next season.
Fellow Pukekohe Park trainer David Medcalfe trained the maiden winner at Ellerslie’s six race programme – a shortage of runners being another side effect of the terrible wet winter we are experiencing – in Tremendous. A lightly raced four-year- old gelding he is by the Haunui Farm stallion Iffraaj, out of the Flying Catalina, and is a half-brother to three winners including Stupendous who won 11 races and was placed in a Telegraph Handicap.
Tremendous was having his first start since May and in the hands of local apprentice Amber Sims settled the horse just off the pace. Once in the home straight the pair kicked clear for home and went on to win by one and threequarter lengths, a head of another locally trained galloper in Ifnot Wainot, who was having his first start for Kevin Crampton. Coming in third was another first starter in Pegasoi from the Williams stable at Byerley Park.
It was the second winner for the week for Sims, she also rode a winner at Avondale on Wednesday when she combined with Good Vibes to win a rating 75 1370 metre event.