Underthemoonlight gets it right
Four wins from 21 raceday starts might not at first impressions seem that special, but any such presumption would be selling Underthemoonlight short.
At Tauranga last Saturday the bonny racemare showed yet again what she’s made of when she ended a run of bad luck with an easy win in the $50,000 Tauranga Classic.
After kicking off her latest campaign with two decent placings, Underthemoonlight’s next two starts could only be described as disappointments. It was no disaster finishing third and then fifth in Listed stakes races at Rotorua and Wanganui, but if things had fallen into place, better results would have followed.
Then along came last weekend and everything went right as Underthemoonlight pushed aside the one remaining query, the rain-sodden track, and left her rivals behind by three and half lengths.
‘‘The way things panned out in the Rotorua race it just didn’t work for her,’’ says part-owner Hamish McQuade, whose wife Karyn trains the mare.
‘‘Then at Wanganui it was 1600 metres and the instructions were to go forward and take a sit, but we didn’t bank on them running it like it was 1200. She just couldn’t do it.’’
Saturday’s Tauranga Classic was the end game for now and Underthemoonlight is unlikely to be seen again until the spring, when she will be set for a repeat win in the Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes at Hawera in October.
‘‘Last year we kept her going through the winter but she’s done enough for now and can come
‘‘The way things panned out in the Rotorua race it just didn't work for her.’’
back when the tracks are better,’’ Hamish added.
‘‘We’ll get to the Taranaki Stakes first and then all going to plan the Auckland Breeders’ Stakes in November.’’
Underthemoonlight was ridden in her weekend win by Cameron Lammas, who was on board for the first time since last August. Cameron’s day had begun with a win that meant every bit as much as Underthemoonlight’s, bringing home Kamikaze Rebel, who is trained by his wife Tracey, to win the first race.
Cameron wore a black armband in hour of his father-inlaw Evan Parnwell, who had passed away during the week after a long illness.
‘‘That was good, I think the old boy was helping us out a bit,’’ he said after unsaddling.
The past two seasons have marked a significant comeback for 33-year- old Cameron, who racked up 67 wins last season for his best tally since his apprentice days and has followed up with another 47 wins this season.
A big part of that turnaround has been his almost daily trip from his home at the northern end of Lake Rotorua to Matamata to ride trackwork for Te Akau trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards.
nderthemoonlight (Cameron Lammas) races clear of the favourite New York Minute in the Tauranga Classic.