No plan can match the un­ex­pected

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery - DEN­NIS RYAN

In rac­ing there are some things that you can plan and oth­ers you have no con­trol over.

For the team at Te Akau Rac­ing, that re­al­ity was never more stark than last Satur­day.

Mid-af­ter­noon at Christchurch’s Ric­car­ton Park race­course, a master plan came off in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion as classy colt Em­bel­lish led home what was so close to be­ing a Te Akau tri­fecta in the $500,000 Al Basti Equi­world New Zealand 2000 Guineas.

Em­bel­lish won by a length and a quar­ter from his stable­mate Age Of Fire, with Cam­bridge three­year-old Ever Loyal three­quar­ters of a length back and deny­ing Te Akau Shark, the third run­ner in the tan­ger­ine and blue colours, from com­plet­ing a white­wash by just a nose.

The Ric­car­ton clas­sic had been at the top of Em­bel­lish’s tar­get race list since David El­lis bid $775,000 for the hand­some Sav­abeel colt from Waikato Stud’s draft at last year’s Karaka year­ling sales.

By be­com­ing the sixth win­ner of the Group One fea­ture in a se­quence be­gun by Darci Brahma in 2003, Em­bel­lish has un­der­lined the Te Akau op­er­a­tion’s ap­ti­tude at mak­ing a plan and pulling it off.

Res­i­dent co-trainer Jamie Richards led the hands-on team at Ric­car­ton, while Stephen Autridge was in Mel­bourne for the Flem­ing­ton de­but of sta­ble star Ginger­nuts in the A$2 mil­lion Emi­rates Stakes.

His ex­pe­ri­ence, how­ever, was a to­tally con­trast to what had taken place hours ear­lier in Christchurch.

All had gone well with Ginger­nuts lead­ing up to his big mis­sion and he was vy­ing for favouritism as he bounced around the mount­ing yard. Min­utes later, how­ever, while can­ter­ing the short dis­tance to the start, he fal­tered in­ex­pli­ca­bly with an in­jury to his left fore­leg.

Rider Mick Dee im­me­di­ately dis­mounted, the sad­dle was re­moved and the club vet­eri­nar­ian con­ducted a quick ex­am­i­na­tion.

The horse am­bu­lance was called and after the leg had been heav­ily ban­daged, Ginger­nuts was loaded and trans­ported to the Wer­ribee ve­teri­nary clinic on the south­ern out­skirts of Mel­bourne.

By late Satur­day the in­jury had been pin­pointed to the pas- tern, which is the sev­eral inches long com­plex of bones con­nect­ing the fet­lock joint to the top of the hoof.

As this page went to print, a CT scan of the in­jured joint was sched­uled to take place, after which a de­ci­sion would be made whether surgery would take place to hope­fully mend the frac­ture.

Em­bel­lish (Opie Bos­son) heads a su­perb New Zealand 2000 Guineas re­sult for Te Akau Rac­ing com­pleted by sta­ble­mates Age Of Fire and Te Akau Shark (fourth).

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