Indikator one ‘out of the box’
could do that,’’ said Keith.
‘‘He never ceases to amaze us, he’s just one out of the box.’’
Saturday’s win was the fourth for Reese in the Rotorua Cup and by far the most enjoyable, even more so than his first as a teenager on Mickey’s Town back in 1989.
Two strides short of the line Reese was high in the saddle saluting the crowd, putting himself on the wrong side of the stewards and costing him a $200 fine, but as the saying goes, ‘‘it was worth it’’.
The big decision that needs to be made now is where Indikator might race next. The sticking point is his rating, which went up another three points after Saturday’s win to 106.
None of his connections are questioning whether he deserves such a high mark, but it means that he will be weighted at 60 kilograms or even more should he continue to race in handicap company.
At any other time of the season weight-for-age racing would be an option, but such opportunities are almost non-existent at this time of the year.
That leaves one other option, to turn Indikator into a jumper, something that is not foreign to him as schooling has been part of his training regime since his younger days.
If that should eventuate, there’s every chance that he would cross the Tasman and try his luck in Victoria, where jumps race stakes are so much higher than in New Zealand.
‘‘It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a while and before this win we thought it might be time,’’ said Keith Opie, who combines training alongside his son from their Te Aroha base with assisting Peter Setchell in the management of Millfield Stud.
‘‘The trap is that he’s going to be lumbered with even more weight on the flat, so jumping might be the only option.’’
The feature results at Rotorua both had a strong local connection, with the $50,000 Rotorua Stakes going to I Do from No Excuse Maggie, a pair of grey daughters of the Waikato Stud stallion No Excuse Needed.
I Do, who had already finished second in no less than three blacktype races this season, is owned in partnership by Mark Chittick and Taranaki trainer Allan Sharrock.
Third place in the Rotorua Stakes went to the Wayne and Vanessa Hillis-trained Art Beat, whose half-sister Smartly was earlier in the day a close second to the Graham Richardson-trained Ididit.
Graham was back in the winner’s circle in the very next race, this time with Copacabana, who got her reward after finishing second in three of her four previous starts.
Matamata trainers were also to the fore with wins to Silverdale, who showed what he was made of with a last-to-first win for Stephen Autridge, and Surpass, scoring for caretaker trainer Danica Guy while Peter McKay and his wife, Kim, took an early winter break.
Surpass had cleared maiden grade by a whopping 16 lengths at his previous start and even though the margin was only threequarters of a length this time, the son of Savabeel still won well enough to suggest there’s more in store for his owner-breeder Paul Ryan.
Across the Tasman John Sargent opened his Brisbane winter carnival in style with last year’s Queensland Oaks winner Quintessential, who relished the rain-soaked track to score a dominant win in the A$115,000 Chairman’s Handicap.
That performance puts the Fast ’N’ Famous mare right in the reckoning for the Brisbane Cup, back at Eagle Farm in a month’s time.
Powerful performance: Reese Jones salutes the judge on the ‘‘little champ’’ Indikator after their third Rotorua Cup win.