Course specialist plays trump card at Te Rapa

Trainer Andrew Forsman will be hoping they run races at Te Rapa every Saturday during the winter so that progressive galloper Turn The Ace (NZ) (Turn Me Loose) can further extend his outstanding record at the Hamilton venue.

The son of Turn Me Loose won at Te Rapa in his first two starts as a two-year-old, and has since put together five further wins at the venue to take his record to seven wins there from just the 13 starts.

Rider Donovan Cooper, who reduced the five-year-old’s carded weight to just 56.5kgs with his 3kg apprentice allowance, followed a well-established pattern with his mount where he bounced straight to the front and dictated terms to his rivals in the Bayonne Construction-sponsored 1600m contest.

Turn The Ace hugged the rail rounding the home bend and put a winning break on the field, galloping strongly to the winning post to hold out a late charge from Freeze Frame and race favourite Little Bit Of Love.

Forsman was at Te Rapa and was especially proud of his charge who he believes has unofficially equalled the record for the most wins at the venue.

“That worked out really well as we thought the track might be a little heavier than he likes,” Forsman said.

“The plan was to cut the corner, hug the rail and try and establish a break and Donovan did it perfectly.

“We took the punt, and it paid off as he saved many lengths and with the final margin being just under a length, I’m not sure he would have held them out if we had come out to the middle of the track.

“He is still a relatively young horse and I think that win puts him level with horses like Spin Doctor and Wordsworth who have also won seven races here.

“There could be another race for him here in early July so we will he having a crack at taking the record on his own, although it will definitely depend on the handicapper as weight will get to him at some stage.”

Purchased by Forsman for $30,000 out of the Cambridge Stud draft during the Book 1 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale in 2020, Turn The Ace has now won nine of his 25 starts and an excess of $238,000 in prizemoney.

He comes from an extended family that traces back to a host of Australian Group One winners including Freemason and Mental.

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