Annie Higgins rewards patience
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.