By Garrick Knight
A matter of weeks in to her new role, Kimberley Blakemore is enjoying life as forewoman for the Auckland arm of Michael House’s stable.
With the guidance of Pukekohe trainer Steven Reid, Blakemore is managing the dozen or so horses House has in the north.
“I’m absolutely loving it; it’s nice to be able to run the barn and sort of do my own thing,” Blakemore told HRNZ.
“Reidy writes up the board every day and checks in with me on how the horses were that day and it’s all going really well.
“We are all working really good as a team and I’m just grateful for being trusted with the responsibility.”
Blakemore drove Warloch to victory in a junior drivers’ race a fortnight ago and will hunt her second driving win for her new boss at Alexandra Park tonight.
Santanna Mach is a newcomer to the north and is having his first start right-handed, but Blakemore says she cannot foresee any likely issues in the first on the card, another junior drivers’ event.
He brings strong Addington form in to the race but has lucked out with a draw on the inside of the second line.
“He’s settled in great.”
“He’s a lovely big horse and I don’t think right-handed will bother him whatsoever.
“I’m just hoping for a bit of speed on early in the race, which will really suit him, but we will need things to go our way from the awkward draw.”
Bookies opened Santanna Mach at $12, behind warm favourite Megastar ($2.40), who will be driven by Dylan Ferguson for trainer Robert Dunn.
House has a three-strong attack on the night’s R56-67 mile, headed by race favourite Delightful Major, who had been backed in from an opening quote of $3.60 to $3 by Friday night.
He made up a stack of ground coming wide in a similar race two weeks ago and Joshua Dickie sticks with the ship this time.
But Blakemore is going with stablemate Warloch ($12) from the coveted ace draw while Shillelagh ($26) will need a lot of luck from barrier eight.
“I would say Warloch is the best chance as he’s got the handy draw and if he does no work early, I can see him getting over them all at the finish.”
Rounding out the team is Final Delight, who came in for a lot of support at the last mile night on September 13 following an impressive workout win in the hands of Reid the Saturday prior.
Things didn’t go his way that night, being forced to sit parked in the race won by the exciting Line Up, and Blakemore is expecting a better performance in a modest field tonight.
“We are happy with him and he’s drawn this week to get cover and not do it tough which will definitely suit him.
“He’s a good chance if things go his way.”
Bookies have Final Delight, who will be driven by Zachary Butcher, at $12.