Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston had a super day at Cromwell on Sunday with a trio of wins and two second placings from six runners.
The day started with an emotion-charged victory when Bad Flamingo (NZ) (Zacinto), a horse bred and raced by Nigel Babbage who passed away last weekend won the Be My Guest Design Maiden (2030m).
“It was awesome to win that race,” Carston said. “It was obviously an emotional win for Nigel’s family and it was nice to get the result for them.
“He came to me from Kevin and Pam Hughes when they retired last year so I was only training for him for a short time but we had bit of success with Russian Fable winning a couple of races too.”
Highly regarded in the finance industry, Babbage was a director of the NZX who had previously served on the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He was also a passionate conservationist who founded both the South Island Kōkako Charitable Trust and Mohua Charitable Trust.
Ridden by Carston’s apprentice Megan Taylor, Bad Flamingo was quick away from barrier two and settled in third position behind the leader before being peeled off the rail and storming home to win by three-quarters of a length.
“He had been knocking on the door, he went really well and finished third on Friday,” Carston said. “He backed up well and Megan rode him outstanding.”
Carston’s second win of the day came in the form of former northern mare Seven Twenty (NZ) (Power) in the Dunedin City Motors 65 (1400m).
The four-year-old was having just her second start for the stable, the first resulting in a second placing on Cup Day at Riccarton.
Ridden by Kavish Chowdhoory Seven Twenty was settled at the back of the field from barrier 13 and she made winning look easy running down the opposition to score by three-quarters of a length.
“She went super last start and I was pretty confident that she’d run well,” Carston said. “It was a good result and she’ll be a nice mare to follow.”
Now the winner of two races, Seven Twenty is raced by Terry Lines along with her former trainers Shaun and Emma Clotworthy.
Carston had to settle for sharing the winning honours when Taumalolo (NZ) (Ferlax) dead heated with Leave It To Me (NZ) (Makfi) in the River Terrace Lifestyle 65 (2030m).
Also ridden by Kavish Chowdhoory and raced by Terry Lines and the Clotworthys, Taumalolo settled in midfield from barrier 11 before being sent three wide at the 600m mark and he showed determination to reel in the leaders on the line.
“He went really well the first day too so I was also confident with him,” Carston said. “He’s a nice horse and he hasn’t run a bad race since I’ve had him.”
Carston, who is sitting on 199 career wins after Sunday’s efforts, said he’s looking forward to summer racing with a good team around him.
“There’s plenty of options coming up for all of today’s runners over the Christmas and New Year period, it’s nice to have them in the stable,” Carston said as he was driving the float home to Christchurch. “It’s about a five hour drive home. It’s a long day but it’s worth it when they go like they did today.”