A LATE call up for trainer Shelley Hale’s runner Close Up paid dividends after the eight-year-old stunned the Tarzino Trophy field at Hastings on Saturday.
The +2010 outsider at Crownbet.com.au was patiently ridden in the ruck heading into the closing stages of the race, with jockey Grant Cooksley waiting for the gap to open before pushing the horse hard to the line to score narrowly ahead of Aide Memoire (+290 at WilliamHill.com.au).
— TAB Racing (@TAB_Racing) September 2, 2017
One of the chief elects in the market Underthemoonlight put together a strong performance to round out the placings to return +170 at Sportsbet.com.au.
While the result was important for New Zealand racing, all eyes from across the Tasman were on one runner.
The horse to follow from an Australian spring perspective was New Zealand Derby winner Gingernuts.
The four-year-old, which was returning for the first time since a fifth-placed finish in the ATC Derby, found itself in the back of the field, but once pulled to the outside the gelding rocketed home to claim fifth in a race that was well short of its ideal distance.
A dual-nominated horse for both the Caulfield and the Melbourne Cups, Gingers is paying +1400 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Caulfield Cup, while a win in the race that stops a nation will return +2500 in the all-in markets.