Johnson bags elusive feature
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.