Dead heat in big Ric­car­ton mile

Taranaki Daily News - - Racing - MAT KERMEEN

In the pub­lic stand Michael Pit­man was think­ing he had won, less than a pitch­ing wedge away in front of the mem­bers stand Mark Ou­laghan was sure he was sec­ond.

Turns out, they were both wrong be­cause Shadows Cast and Son Of Ma­her were both win­ners. The pair dead-heated the Group II $230,000 Cou­p­land’s Bak­eries Mile (1600m) at Ric­car­ton on Wed­nes­day. Oddly enough, as the pair were watch­ing the re­play, Pit­man thought he had run sec­ond and Ou­laghan thought might have won. Need­less to say, it was a tight fin­ish.

Pit­man, who trains in part­ner­ship with son Matt, said he would have loved to win the race out­right but the re­sult was fit­ting.

He was es­pe­cially pleased for part-owner of Son Of Ma­her, Ray Cou­p­land, who has played such a mas­sive role in get­ting the race off the ground and sup­port­ing it through its 13-year his­tory.

For Ou­laghan, a man best known for train­ing win­ners over jumps at the Grand Na­tional Car­ni­val at Ric­car­ton, the win was his best flat race suc­cess at Ric­car­ton.

Mean­while, ex­cit­ing sprinter Car­ni­val may not be able to mend bro­ken bones but Kevin Hughes is con­fi­dent she will be able to lift the spir­its of her proud owner.

In her big­gest test to date, Car­ni­val ran a blis­ter­ing time and held off a qual­ity field of sprint­ers to win the Group III $100,000 Lin­dauer Ste­wards Stakes at Ric­car­ton on Wed­nes­day.

Hughes, who trains in part­ner­ship with wife Pam, said the vic­tory meant a lot to them but it was ded­i­cated to Dame Wendy Pye.

She races Car­ni­val, in part­ner­ship with her hus­band Don­ald, but could not be at Ric­car­ton be­cause of a badly bro­ken leg suf­fered ear­lier in the week.

‘‘I’m sure that will make her feel a hell of a lot bet­ter,’’ Hughes said.

The Pyes also bred the speedy mare who now has four wins from just eight starts.

The vic­tory was sat­is­fy­ing for the Hughes’ who set Car­ni­val for the race months ago.

Car­ni­val, rid­den by Sam Col­lett, had to work early to sit out­side leader Pass­ing Shot but out­toughed the north­ern vis­i­tor to win by a head.

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