An­nie Hig­gins re­wards pa­tience

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

her and al­lowed us, the vets and ev­ery­one else in­volved in her re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion the time to do what was nec­es­sary to get her back.

‘‘Marie is a breeder too and even­tu­ally in­tends adding An­nie to her brood­mare band but the first thing she said to me when she won the other day was ‘Great, that means we’ll have her back to race next sea­son’.

‘‘That’s some­thing I’m also look­ing for­ward to and for the mean­time she’ll have just one start, this time in the Ran­gi­tikei Gold Cup at Awa­puni in a cou­ple of weeks, pro­vided the weather doesn’t break be­fore­hand.’’

It may have been a for­tu­itous win but Stephen Autridge still took it when Lo­han, the only jumper in his team, won the maiden hur­dle event at Te Rapa on Satur­day.

Lo­han, who had shown some prom­ise in a hand­ful of jumps starts last win­ter, looked to fin­ish only third ap­proach­ing the final jump.

But that all changed, when the leader, Portrush, made a hash of the fence and fell. In the af­ter­math he in­ter­fered badly with sec­ond-placed Atomic Road, leav­ing his rider Pa­trick Ormsby no chance of stay­ing on board.

That left Lo­han as the un­likely leader and he main­tained his ad­van­tage to score a half-length win over the al­most as lucky Ap­plaud.

‘‘You know what they say in jumps rac­ing – the fences are there to be jumped,’’ said Stephen, whose fa­ther Bob and brother Toby have a long list of ma­jor jumps wins to their credit.

While the odd jumper of­fers Stephen some win­ter en­ter­tain­ment, younger mem­bers of his team such as last start win­ners A Touch Of Ruby and Sil­verdale pro­vide the main­stay.

‘‘A Touch Of Ruby won’t race again un­til till the spring but Sil­verdale is back in the sta­ble af­ter a cou­ple of weeks’ break and will run later in the month.

‘‘We’ve got a nice team of young horses com­ing through so there’s plenty to look for­ward to,’’ said Stephen.

Worth wait­ing for: It’s been a long haul but An­nie Hig­gins fi­nally made it back to the win­ner’s list.

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