Showcause ridden by Darryl Bradley get up to win the 147th New Zealand Cup. Colin Berry www.raceimages.net.nz
A great-grandson of champion mare Showgate (Gate Keeper), Showcause (5 B. G. Giant’s Causeway – Showella, by Lord Ballina) won the $225,000, Group III, Christchurch Casino 147th New Zealand Cup over 3200-metres at Riccarton on Saturday at the end of titanic struggle in the home straight.
With less than 100m remaining it appeared any one of four horses could put their name on the prestigious cup, but on the line it was the Frank Ritchie-trained Showcause, in the hands of rider Darryl Bradley, that gained a long-head victory.
Titch (Lord Ballina) finished second, ridden by David Walker, with a nose to Zabene (Zabeel) in third for David Walsh, and a head to the favourite Roi D’jeu (Montjeu) under Mark Du Plessis, fourth.
Ritchie, who also trained his impressive winning dam Showella, said, “He’s bred to be a stayer, but his problem is his lack of pace. He pretty much took all the way up the straight to win the race and that’s the sort of horse that his is, really. She (Showella) was a wonderful mare. The irony of it is that she had a brilliant turn of foot. She could sprint from anywhere and pick them up quickly. He lacks that, but he’s got all the stamina.”
There was reasoning behind the appointment of Darryl Bradley. Until the week prior when finishing third in the Metropolitan, Bradley had not ridden Showcause previously. “It was a wonderful ride”, said Ritchie. “He hadn’t ridden him before last week, and I was keen for whoever rode him last week to ride him in this (NZ Cup) because of the fact that you’ve got to know that you never stop him. You’ve got to put him forward early and he’ll always give a bit more, and he rode him perfectly.”
Showella was bred by Windsor Park Stud and owned by Terry Archer, who in turn bred Showcause and races him with other long time clients of the Ritchie stable, in the Showcause Syndicate.
Famous for training ‘Big Red’ Bonecrusher (Pag-Asa), Ritchie said, “He may not be Bonecrusher, but just for today he is.”
For Bradley, who won his first New Zealand Cup aboard the marvellous galloper Sapio (Vice Regal) in 1998, the win stirred plenty of feeling. “I was a bit legless with emotion and it brought back the memories of winning on Sapio”, said Bradley. “I can’t describe the feeling to win this race and it’s even more of a thrill because I brought my son along to the races today, so it’s special for him to see me win.”
On good footing, Showcause ran the ultimate two mile journey in 3:19.75, returning punters $17.80 & $4.80 on the NZ TAB.
Twice Horse of the Year and known as the ‘Queen of the South’, Show Gate won 30 of her 51 starts between 1200m – 2400m, including the Canterbury Gold Cup, Telegraph Handicap and Trentham Stakes.
Show Gate left only three foals, with Show Queen (Balmerino) the grand-dam of Showcause being the only filly.