Monikers don’t stop winners
What’s in a name?
Fair question after the weekend feature race wins by the intriguingly monikered Matamata pair Gingernuts and Our King Sway.
In the space of 15 minutes on Saturday afternoon Gingernuts won the $100,000 Avondale Guineas at Ellerslie for Te Akau partners Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards and the Glenn Old-trained Our King Sway won the $80,000 Taranaki Cup at New Plymouth.
Gingernuts tipped New Zealand Derby calculations on their head when he put up an extraordinary performance to win the final lead-up to next week’s $1 million classic.
After blowing the start by six lengths he tagged onto the field before his rider Johnathan Parkes took the only option he could.
Hugging the rail while others scouted wide, Gingernuts charged through and won by threequarters of a length. It was a huge step up from a win at Te Teko last month, but was enough to convince connections to pay the $30,000 Derby late entry fee.
Our King Sway’s Taranaki Cup victory was notable on a number of fronts. Most of all it completed a century of wins for his apprentice jockey, 25-year- old Englishwoman Anna Jones.
Riding to instructions, she had the big grey in the rear before setting off around the field and ready for a final bid up the short home straight.
Horse and rider were in for the fight, with a long neck margin to show for it over the line.
Anna couldn’t resist a wild salute as she hit the line and to their credit stewards let her off with a warning for the early crow to celebrate her milestone. So what about those names? It’s easy to explain how Glenn Old, his brother Mark and fellow owner Vaughan Nowell came up with Our King Sway, whose most noticeable physical characteristic is his sway back.
As for Gingernuts, well that one has me stumped – so much so that I’m not even going to speculate.
Anna Jones celebrates her 100th win on Our King Sway in the Taranaki Cup.