Red Sierra was an emphatic winner of the South Taranaki Club Egmont Cup (2100m) at Hawera. Photo: Race Images PN
Talented pocket rocket Red Sierra (NZ) (Redwood) put her trademark powerful sprint finish to good effect on Saturday when she dashed home to claim victory in the South Taranaki Club Egmont Cup (2100m) at Hawera.
Primarily thought of as a sprinter-miler the Redwood six-year-old showed she could be just as potent over a middle distance as she rounded up her opposition in the final 300m to register a comfortable two and a half length victory in her first start past 1600m.
The win was her eighth in a 26-start career to date and one which has co-trainer David Howarth excited about her future prospects.
“That was a pretty special win as she carried 58kgs and dominated a handy field in her first go past a mile,” he said.
“She also did it on a Dead5 rated track whereas her winning form had been on slow or heavy surfaces up until now.
“I’ve always thought she would handle better going as she has a terrific action.
“I’ve also thought she would be suited by a middle distance, primarily due to her barrier manners which can be a bit iffy at times.
“She threw away the Winter Cup (Gr.3, 1600m) back in August when she missed away by eight lengths and still ran fourth.
“With less tempo on over the longer distances she gets the chance to settle and get into a rhythm which you can’t often do over a shorter trip.
“This win opens up plenty of possibilities for her including some of the better races in the autumn, which is something we are going to have to sit down and think about now.”
Haworth, who prepares the mare in partnership with daughter Emma, was also thrilled for the large group of owners who race the mare under their Bram Syndicate banner.
“They are a great bunch of people who are involved in the horse so it was pretty special to win another nice race for them,” he said.
“I had just brought Emma into the training partnership when we went up to Karaka to look at horses.
“This group got together and gave us $20,000 to try and buy something up there, which was such a nice gesture at the time.
“It wasn’t a big budget and we didn’t have a lot of luck initially, but Emma kept coming back to this Redwood filly she saw so we ended up buying her for $10,000.
“One of the group asked us if we were considering her future career as a polo pony as she was that small.
“She really hasn’t grown that much but she’s as tough as teak and has a real motor under the hood.”
Although Red Sierra is coming to the end of her current campaign Haworth is keen to see if he can land a black type prize with her in the coming weeks.
“We’ve got our eye on the Feilding Cup (Listed, 2200m) at Awapuni in early November as her next target,” he said.
“A number of the syndicate are from Feilding so that would be a great race to win for them.
“It will depend on the handicapper as to whether she goes there because if she happened to cop topweight it would be too tough for her.
“If she doesn’t go there then there is the 2000m weight-for-age (Gr.3, OMF Stakes) at Ellerslie on Melbourne Cup Day which could be another option.
“She will probably go the paddock after that and have a month or so off before we get her ready for the autumn and some of those good fillies and mares’ races.”