Underrated mare Lucyinrio caused a minor
upset when she outgunned a small but select field of open grade sprinters over
1200m at Ruakaka on Saturday.
The lightly raced eight-year-old, who came
north to a new Cambridge base with trainer Kylie Little when she moved there
from Opaki late last season, had struck first up at Ruakaka when successful
over a similar distance on June 15.
Stepped up to 1400m for her subsequent
start at the venue a fortnight later, the Captain Rio mare disappointed when
dropping out in the run home after racing on the speed throughout.
Given a brief freshen-up by Little,
Lucyinrio was back to her brilliant best for rider Lynsey Satherley as she once
again sat outside a steady pace set up by the free-goer Admiral before dashing
clear early in the run home. Hotly challenged by race favourite Hanger and
local runner Rikki Tikki Tavi, Lucyinrio stuck to her guns as she held out the
pair to win by a neat length at the line.
“It was a super ride by Lynsey as she told
me how it would pan out and that’s exactly how it went,” Little said.
“She’s a really good mare who has been
Group Two and Group Three placed.
“We’re heading to the Red Badge Sprint on
the last day at Hastings (Gr.3, 1400m) next.”
The victory brought up a winning double for
Satherley who had guided another Cambridge-trained runner in De Koning to an
all-the way success over 1600m in the previous race.
Earlier in the day the Tony Pike-trained
Sherwood Forest kicked off his three-year-old campaign with a narrow but
impressive victory in maiden company over 1400m.
The strapping Fastnet Rock gelding had
impressed when finishing close up in stakes company at Ellerslie in the last
two runs of his two-year-old campaign.
Ridden by Troy Harris, Sherwood Forest
managed to down outsider Gigolo George in a driving finish despite displaying
some wayward tendencies in the home straight.
“He was doing a lot wrong up the home
straight, looking at the other horse,” Pike stable representative Dean Williams
“He had blinkers on as a two-year-old so I
wouldn’t be surprised if they come back on again.
“He will improve again once we put him up
in trip but he’s an exciting horse going forward.”
The disappointment in the race was hot
favourite Holy Mongolemperor who endured a rocky run amongst horses throughout
before battling on into fifth without threatening the eventual winner.
TAB bookmakers reacted to the result by
tightening Sherwood Forest to $14 on the Fixed Odds market for the Gr.1 Al
Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November,
while Holy Mongolemperor drifted to $8 behind early favourite Catalyst ($3.50).