Sta­ble new­comer claims fea­ture

The Press - - Racing -

A change of en­vi­ron­ment has worked won­ders for the wide­ly­trav­elled stayer Gen­til Ton­ton.

The Irish-bred son of Yeats was mak­ing just his sec­ond start for trainer John Bell, who now also owns the geld­ing, when he came from the back of the field to tri­umph in Sat­ur­day’s Listed Woods Con­tract­ing Tau­marunui Gold Cup at Ro­torua.

‘‘When they come into a new sta­ble they can some­times grow an­other leg,’’ Bell said. ‘‘He’s a lovely horse.’’

A two-time win­ner in his na­tive Ire­land for Patrick Pren­der­gast, Gen­til Ton­ton then had one start in Hong Kong for Gary Moore be­fore he trans­ferred to the Cam­bridge sta­ble of Trevor and Martin Cruz.

He was suc­cess­ful three times for the brothers and a fur­ther vic­tory was posted from the yard of Lance O’Sul­li­van and An­drew Scott prior to him join­ing Bell’s op­er­a­tion.

As is his style, Gen­til Ton­ton set­tled to­ward the back of the field on Sat­ur­day un­der lead­ing ap­pren­tice Sam Weather­ley be­fore they im­proved near the home turn. A well-timed fin­ish saw them score by half a length. ‘‘Young Sam rode him a treat, he’s not the eas­i­est horse to ride,’’ Bell said.

Weather­ley, who had rid­den Gen­til Ton­ton on four pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions, was true to his word at Ro­torua.

‘‘When Sam found out we were get­ting the horse he rang for the ride and said he’d win the cup and he has,’’ Bell said.

‘‘We’ll look for some­thing for him now with­out trav­el­ling too far.’’

Gen­til Ton­ton ac­counted for Pump Up The Vol­ume, the run­nerup 12 months ago be­hind Jochen Rindt, who was a game third in his ti­tle de­fence.

● Mean­while a new kid on the jump­ing block has given a num­ber of his more ex­pe­ri­enced and bet­ter-per­formed ri­vals plenty to think about.

In just his sec­ond ap­pear­ance over fences, Monarch Chimes made his mark in open com­pany at Ro­torua with an ex­cel­lent dis­play to claim top hon­ours in the Har­courts Tau­marunui Hur­dle.

Rid­den by Shaun Phe­lan, the Shinko King five-year-old com­fort­ably ac­counted for the reign­ing Grand Na­tional Hur­dles cham­pion Ngario and Raisa­fuasho, a four­time win­ner over hur­dles.

“It was a big step up for him and he was up against a few guns so it was lovely to see how well he fin­ished off,” said Emma-Lee Browne, who trains the geld­ing with her hus­band David.

“We were in two minds whether to go back to the flat, but he just loves his jump­ing so much.”

Monarch Chimes’ per­for­mance, which came off the back of his novice hur­dle win at Te Aroha, has firmed plans to tar­get the Sch­weppes Great North­ern Hur­dles at Eller­slie on Septem­ber 9.

Monarch Chimes trav­elled eas­ily be­hind the pace be­fore he cruised up to chal­lenge 400 me­tres from home and he drew clear to beat Ngario, who will im­prove with his first jumps out­ing of the sea­son un­der his belt, by three and a-quar­ter lengths.

PHOTO: TR­ISH DUNELL

Tau­maranui Gold Cup win­ner Gen­til Ton­ton with rider Sam Weather­ley.

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