Four Queens heads home Rae quinella at Riccarton

Local trainer Terri Rae got her day off to the best possible start at Riccarton when new stable runner Four Queens narrowly headed stablemate Sacred Giant over 1400m in the second race of the day.

Formerly prepared by Tony Pike at Cambridge, Four Queens had remained with Rae in the south after contesting both the Listed Easter Cup (1600m) and Gr.3 South Island Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton last autumn.

The five-year-old daughter of Tavistock went into Saturday’s rating 75 contest off the back off an eye-catching finish for third over 1000m at the Ashburton trials last month with Rae expecting her to figure prominently along with her other runner in Sacred Giant, who had won his 1000m trial on the same day.

With Sacred Giant sitting outside pacemaker Where’s Wally throughout, rider Terry Moseley was able to secure a beautiful trail behind the pair for Four Queens before angling her into the clear shortly after straightening for the run home.

Just as Sacred Giant was being hailed the winner after shaking off Where’s Wally, Four Queens hit top gear and thrust her nose in front at the winning post to secure her third career victory.

Rae was delighted with the result as she aims the pair at possible targets during the New Zealand Cup Carnival in November.

“It was a pretty close finish and I’m glad it was my two who were fighting it out,” Rae said.

“I had been hoping for a good performance from them both as they had gone well at the trials and were both quite forward.

“We’ve had Four Queens with us since she raced down here back in April and she spelled really well over the winter.

“She has come up well and looks to me like she is the type of mare who just needs an ounce of luck during the running.

“Terry had her away nicely and in a prominent spot and when she got into the clear she really finished off nicely.

“Sacred Giant fought on well and I think they will both take benefit from the race.”

Rae has her eye on a pair of black type targets for Four Queens during Cup Week but isn’t quite sure which one she will ultimately contest.

“Four Queens holds a nomination for the Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (Gr.3, 1600m) on the middle day of Cup Week but we’re also looking at the Canterbury Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.3, 1400m) on the same day as well.

“She will have one more run before then and we will make a decision after that but keeping her on the fresh side suits her as she seems to race best that way.

“Sacred Giant is going to race again back here in a fortnight and we will also look to pick out a nice race for him during Cup Week as well.”

Bred and raced by Dick Karreman under his The Oaks Stud banner, Four Queens is out of the Gr.3 Highview Stakes (1200m) winner Diamond Deck and is a half-sister to former Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) runner-up All Decked Out. – NZ Racing Desk


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