Ginger­nuts just the bis­cuit

Sunday Star-Times - - RACING - TIM RYAN

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.

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