Gingernuts (NZ) stormed Rosehill on Saturday to take the $600,000, Group 1 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) leaving the field spreadeagled in the wake of the New Zealand Derby winner.
Harper’s Choice and Brenton Avdulla took the field by the scruff of the neck going out to a 3L lead as they went past the 600m while behind him, a long way behind Gingernuts and Opie Bosson has commenced a run from the 700m after being third last down the back straight.
Avdulla took Harper’s Choice to the rails to save every meter of ground, but Gingernuts was coming as quickly as Harper’s Choice started to slow.
Bosson had Gingernuts out wide on the track and with 300m to run they had control of the race and only the runaway Harper’s Choice to pass.
That was successfully accomplished and even though Gingernuts was tiring over the final 100m he has the race in his keeping and the margin at the line was a decisive 2 1/2L.
The $2.90 favourite Inference (So You Think) and Tommy Berry came though behind the leader for second over So Si Bon (So You Think) and Kerrin McEvoy, the margin a short half head, with Anaheim fourth and Harper’s Choice staying on for fifth.
The time was 2.11.46 on the Heavy 10 track with the final 600m in 39.44. Gingernuts paid $6.50 on fixed odds and $5.50 on the tote.
“This is huge. It was a great effort. It has been a long day waiting for this and watching Winx,” said Richards.
“I am really pleased for the team at home. We bought the horse at the Ready To Run Sales and we syndicated him amongst some clients of ours and they are having a whirlwind ride.
“It looks like he is going to be hard to beat in two weeks’ time (Derby). His last gallop at Matamata before he came over was on a similar track to this and he handled it well. Obviously race pressure is a different thing but he seems to go well on everything,” he said.
“He jumped slow and got a bit of a squeeze but he got into a nice rhythm throughout the race and I knew I had a fit horse under me,” said Bosson.
“He had his ears pricked all the way up the straight and he was gawking and looking around, I was just trying to keep his mind on the job.
“That was an ideal run, as long as this heavy track hasn’t taken too much out of him,” he said.
Gingernuts, by Iffraaj out of the Generous mare Double Elle, won the Group 1 New Zealand Derby over 2400m at Ellerslie on March 4th and he backed up to claim is second Group 1 on Saturday to stake a serious hold on the $2m, Group 1 Australian ATC Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 1st. Connections will have to pay a late entry fee of $44,000 by Tuesday, March 28th, to run in the Derby.
Raced by the Te Akau Gingernuts Syndicate, managed by prominent New Zealand syndicator David Ellis, and trained by Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards, the gelding has now won stakes of $994,767 from his five wins and a second from eight starts.
What the beaten jockeys said:
Tommy Berry (Inference): “It shows how gutsy he is. The other day he was on the outside part of the track which wasn’t a really heavy track whereas today he struggled in the conditions. I was a beaten horse at the 1000m when the winner came around me but just through tenacity and toughness he found the line. He was not entitled to do what he did today.”
Kerrin McEvoy (So Si Bon): “Good run. He’s third up into that trip today on heavy ground. He handled it well enough and he’s going to improve for the run. That was a nice effort there today.”
Glyn Schofield (Prized Icon): “He travelled through the ground pretty sweetly for me for the first half of the race but as soon as the speed came on he was struggling.”
Blake Shinn (Seaburge): “Just put a line through the run. He didn’t handle the track at all.”
Craig Williams (Comin' Through): “He didn’t handle the heavy 10 today.”
Hugh Bowman (Anaheim): “I was pleased with him. We might have got a bit closer with a better draw but the winner had the wood on us here today.”
Ryan Moore (Sizzling Bullet): “Ground was a bit too soft for him.”
Jeff Lloyd (Impavido): “I suggested putting some blinkers on him. He didn’t show much interest early in the race. Run was fair but giving them too much start.”
Steve Arnold (Land Of Plenty): “Didn’t handle the ground. Made a couple of bad steps around the corner.”
Brenton Avdulla (Harper's Choice): “He drew wide and he was a bit of an outsider so I thought I would try something different. Halfway up the straight I thought it might pay off but he ran terrific.”
Ben Melham (Hollywood Mo): “He ran well he was just on his wrong leg the whole way around.”