Mare seals spot in Southern Feature

Strolling Vagabond (Darci Brahma) has booked her passage to the South Island.

A tilt at the Gr.3 Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton on August 4 was confirmed on Saturday by trainer Gerald Innes following the mare’s hard-fought victory in the Sinclair Electrical & Refrigeration Handicap (1800m) at New Plymouth.

“We’ll be going down there for sure after that effort,” Innes said.

A $21 chance in the market for the Cup, Strolling Vagabond is a seasoned traveller and past visits to Christchurch have been rewarded with three placings.

On Saturday, she was aided by a good ride from Lisa Allpress and they didn’t need to go around a horse to win.

“I was confident of a big run,” Innes said. “She had a week in the paddock to freshen up, she had been a bit over-taxed by the really heavy tracks.”

Strolling Vagabond raced midfield on the fence and Allpress took advantage of the inside gaps to finish doggedly along the fence to account for the favourite Rodrico.

Innes had considered a start in the Listed Powerworx Opunake Cup (1400m), but felt the easier option was in the mare’s best interests.

“The syndicate were quite happy to miss the Cup and put some money in the bank and it’s all worked out very well,” he said.

“She’s quite a tough mare and always tries very hard. My only concern was her handling a sticky track and she’s coped well.”

Rodrico hit the front before the turn and he fought on bravely while Wazuzu came from the back to finish third ahead of Waipipi Lad, who made the pace. – NZ Racing Desk.


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