Blood Brotha beats Bakup in the Group III Metropolitan. Colin Berry Race Images Christchurch
The Wanganui trained galloper Blood Brotha (5 B. G. Danzighill – Laura Dee, by Personal Escort) gained an instant affinity with Riccarton racecourse on Saturday when winning the $70,000, Group III, Gold Club Metropolitan Trophy (2500m), and now looms as one of the main contenders for the New Zealand Cup.
In less than a week, on November 13, a plan hatched by his trainer Raymond Connors after Blood Brotha had emerged out of the pack with a resounding finish for second to Mr Charlie (Golan) in the St Leger at Trentham in March will come to fruition in the $225,000, Group III, Christchurch Casino 146th New Zealand Cup (3200m).
Connors said, “Since he ran second in the St Leger we thought this (NZ Cup) would be a good race for him, so targeted the race and hopefully it will come off.”
“The extra distance of in the New Zealand Cup should be ideal. He was pretty right for this race and hopefully he will backup okay.”
Following a strong win at Wanganui two starts ago, Blood Brotha could only manage sixth when favourite at Awapuni at his next start.
“He wasn’t suited by the stop start pace at Awapuni last time”, said Connors. We were hoping for better but they just went too slow.”
Premiership leading rider Lisa Allpress mastered the situation with the horse to win the Metropolitan on ground considered slower than he prefers, and as a pointer to the prospects of Blood Brotha in the Cup it would seem she is likely to continue the association.
Allpress settled Blood Brotha beyond midfield, sitting pat before improving three wide with cover from twelfth in the field of fourteen at the 800m. Tracking widest into the straight, he sprinted to level at the furlong and sustained a strong finish to beat Bakup (Kilimanjaro) by one-length.
The first two were dominant at the finish, while Showcause (Giant’s Causeway) was two-and-a-quarter-lengths away in third. The favourite Roi D’jeu (Montjeu) arrived late on the scene with a strong finish from last to grab fourth, before trucking on solidly past the post.
Appearing quite fresh in the parade, Roi D’jeu was also keen in his preliminary and with improvement in the interim should strip in more settled condition for the two-mile Cup assignment.
The fixed odds market on the NZ TAB has Nightime Jockey (Pentire), a winner over 2400m at Ellerslie on Melbourne Cup Day, as the pre-post favourite ($3.50), with Roi D’jeu ($5), Blood Brotha ($7) and Bakup ($8).