Sargent returns to form with Fromelles
Trentham in mid-march had resulted in a sixth in the Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes when she was blocked for room in the home straight and a late closing fourth in the Hawke’s Bay Gold Cup.
The gaps took a while to come on Saturday too but once Lisa Allpress had found the right run for her rounding the turn the race was as good as over. Fromelles burst clear of the field with 250 metres to run and hit the line more than two lengths in front.
The win marked another big day for young Waikato Stud stallion Savabeel, with that Group Three success complemented by another in Brisbane by the rapidly developing three-year-old Brambles in the Rough Habit Plate.
There’s a significant Brisbane connection to Fromelles, with the five-year-old mare having been bred by Darren Dollimore and Rhonda Bennett, who reside in the Queensland capital.
They mix business interests on this side of the Tasman with their racing hobby and all told have three horses in the Sargent stable. Besides their big weekend winner those are the three-year-old pair Casting Stones, who has won three of his seven starts to date and single race winner Bragging Rights.
John was in Brisbane for Saturday’s Doomben races and was therefore able to have a night out with his happy owners. He couldn’t match his home team effort with a win but was happy with the freshup fourth by star two-year-old Choice Bro and the luckless second at the Gold Coast by Largo Da Barra.
‘‘Choice Bro needed the run to get ready for the big races coming up and Largo Da Barra should have won,’’ said John. ‘‘I’ve got nine all told over there and they’re all shaping up well.
‘‘Next Saturday I’ll be running Quintessential in the Doomben Roses, St Germaine in the Lord Mayor’s Cup and maybe Shanghai Bund and Dollario in a decent three-yearold race.’’
Matamata stables got more than their share of winners at the weekend. Jason Bridgman opened the scoring at Rotorua with his promising stayer Prospero, Graham Richardson chimed in with another smart young galloper in Jubilate and Wayne and Vanessa Hillis closed the day with all-the-way winner Smartly.
Down at New Plymouth Matamata dominated with five wins on the eight-race card. Crown Of Thorns won for the new partnership of Mike Moroney and Chad Ormsby, Jim Collett added another winner from his small team with Geariguru, Toby Autridge caused an upset with his stable newcomer Madam Kirk, Our Zara bounced back to form for Karen Fursdon and Gemma Sliz and Graham Richardson made it a weekend double with fresh-up runner Green Manner.
Well deserved win: Lisa Allpress brings Fromelles back to scale after combining with the John Sargenttrained mare to win the Rotorua Cup.