Gingernuts just the biscuit
THE tough chestnut Gingernuts grows in popularity with each start.
The son of Iffraaj was backed for a fortune in Saturday’s Group I Windsor Park Plate at Hastings and paid the believers.
His legion of fans sent him out at $2.90 by the time the barriers were released in the $200,000 race and the orange army can thank jockey Opie Bosson for an inch perfect ride.
Bosson has been battling weight issues of late, but comfortably made the 58.5kg Gingernuts was required to carry and he made a difference.
The talented rider made a winning decision about 600m from home in the 1600m contest when he tacked on to a move being made by Jason Waddell aboard arch rival Kawi.
Kawi gave him a perfect drag into the home straight battle and momentarily, it appeared the two were going to battle out the finish.
But winner of the first leg of the Hawke’s Bay triple crown, Close Up ridden by the wily veteran Grant Cooksley joined the fray and was the one to issue Gingernuts with the sternest challenge.
Gingernuts had enough in the tank to drive hard for the line to hold Close Up by a short neck with a length and a-quarter back to Kawi and a length and a-half to Underthemoonlight in fourth.
‘‘I got in behind Kawi and got a beautiful track into the race,’’ Bosson said. ‘‘And he dug deep.
‘‘He’s an exciting horse and he’s still learning the trade.’’
The big group of fans wearing G-Nut caps and cheering their horse home are getting plenty of excitement.
‘‘It’s super exciting,’’ syndicate member Blair Alexander told Trackside. ‘‘How he plunged in the betting I think people recognise the name and back the horse, he’s just got a lot of fans.’’
With three Group I wins, six wins in total from 11 starts and around $1.2 million in earnings he’s achieved a lot for a 4-year-old but big targets lie ahead.
The Te Akau team will take a day or two to decide what they are but he is entered for the Livamil Classic (2000m) in a fortnight, while Australia also beckons.
One having a crack at the Livamol will be Nymphe Monte who bolted clear of a tidy field in Saturday’s Aon 2000 in his third run back from a break.
Rosie Myers rode the son of Tavistock and thinks he will improve further going in to the Group I race in a fortnight and his Opaki trainer and coowner Grant Nicholson agrees.
‘‘There’s still improvement in him,’’ Nicholson said. ‘‘We’ll come back in two weeks and have a go.’’
Watch This Space is another on the trail of major targets after he put backto-back wins together in the Redshaw Memorial (1200m).
He won the Group II Japan International (1600m) at Tauranga last season and returned to record a last start win at Ruakaka before Saturday.
Trainer Wayne Hillis will have him back at Hastings for Livamol day to run in the Group III Spring Sprint (1400m).
DREAMS of Group I glory were enhanced in Saturday’s Group III Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings.
Many in the field of 3-year-old fillies were out to prove their worth for November’s 1000 Guineas at Riccarton with winner Dijon Bleu putting herself firmly in the frame.
Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta wasn’t committing to the blue riband race immediately after, but all going to plan her Burgundy filly will make the trip south.
The big winner on Saturday was jockey Vinnie Colgan who picked up the winning ride on race day after the man booked for the ride, Troy Harris couldn’t make the filly’s carded weight.
‘‘She had a nice run,’’ Colgan said. ‘‘She was travelling very strongly turning for home and won well.’’
Gingernuts leads the charge in the Windsor Park Plate at Hastings.