Dead heat in big Riccarton mile
In the public stand Michael Pitman was thinking he had won, less than a pitching wedge away in front of the members stand Mark Oulaghan was sure he was second.
Turns out, they were both wrong because Shadows Cast and Son Of Maher were both winners. The pair dead-heated the Group II $230,000 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton on Wednesday. Oddly enough, as the pair were watching the replay, Pitman thought he had run second and Oulaghan thought might have won. Needless to say, it was a tight finish.
Pitman, who trains in partnership with son Matt, said he would have loved to win the race outright but the result was fitting.
He was especially pleased for part-owner of Son Of Maher, Ray Coupland, who has played such a massive role in getting the race off the ground and supporting it through its 13-year history.
For Oulaghan, a man best known for training winners over jumps at the Grand National Carnival at Riccarton, the win was his best flat race success at Riccarton.
Meanwhile, exciting sprinter Carnival may not be able to mend broken bones but Kevin Hughes is confident she will be able to lift the spirits of her proud owner.
In her biggest test to date, Carnival ran a blistering time and held off a quality field of sprinters to win the Group III $100,000 Lindauer Stewards Stakes at Riccarton on Wednesday.
Hughes, who trains in partnership with wife Pam, said the victory meant a lot to them but it was dedicated to Dame Wendy Pye.
She races Carnival, in partnership with her husband Donald, but could not be at Riccarton because of a badly broken leg suffered earlier in the week.
‘‘I’m sure that will make her feel a hell of a lot better,’’ Hughes said.
The Pyes also bred the speedy mare who now has four wins from just eight starts.
The victory was satisfying for the Hughes’ who set Carnival for the race months ago.
Carnival, ridden by Sam Collett, had to work early to sit outside leader Passing Shot but outtoughed the northern visitor to win by a head.