John­son bags elu­sive fea­ture

Sunday Star-Times - - RACING - MAT KER­MEEN

CHRIS John­son has fi­nally put his name on a fea­ture win that was one of the very few to elude him at Ric­car­ton.

The reign­ing na­tional jock­eys’ pre­mier­ship cham­pion rode Kiwi Ida to vic­tory in the Listed $50,000 Can­ter­bury Belle Stakes for North Can­ter­bury train­ers John and Karen Par­sons at Ric­car­ton on Satur­day.

His first vic­tory in the race was fit­ting given John­son rode Can­ter­bury Belle to the first six wins of her ca­reer which in­cluded the Group I 1000 Guineas - the race that is the main tar­get for Kiwi Ida.

The daugh­ter of Squamosa has moved from $18 into $14 in the 1000 Guineas mar­ket on the strength of Satur­day’s three-quar­ters of a length win over Hot Fuss.

Kiwi Ida’s win was a sig­nif­i­cant train­ing per­for­mance form the Par­sons part­ner­ship given it was her first start as a three-year-old. She missed a race at Ric­car­ton two weeks ago due to a mi­nor stone bruise.

Her next start is in the Barneswood Farm Stakes on Oc­to­ber 21.

Heavy rain dur­ing the week wreaked havoc with the meet­ing. The Ric­car­ton sur­face came up as a heavy 11 which robbed the mam­moth 12 race card of many of its star at­trac­tions.

La Diosa, who won the Group I 1000 Guineas last sea­son and was crowned South Is­land Horse of the Year on Fri­day night, was scratched as were a swag of qual­ity run­ners with ma­jor spring tar­gets in­clud­ing Son Of Ma­her and Rid­ing Shot­gun.

Ear­lier, train­ers Kevin and Pam Hughes en­joyed a strong win from Maybe Mi­ami in the open sprint over 1200m.

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