Go You Good Thing gave Daniel Cherry his first win as a trainer and the Matamata horseman is hoping the gelding can double his tally this weekend.
The son of Ghibellines won on debut over 1230m at Rotorua earlier this month and Cherry was delighted with the result after four unplaced trial runs.
“I broke him in and pre-trained him, so I had an inkling that he likes a bit of daylight and in his trials he had been going back to last in most of them,” Cherry said.
“I told Erin (Leighton, jockey) to let him see the front of the field, and he loves that track, he is an absolute mudlark. That run was promising.
“It was quite a thrill (to get my first win as a trainer). I was rapt with the horse and I was glad it was him because when I broke him in he was one of my favourites, so I was quite glad he was the one that gave me my first win.”
Go You Good Thing will try and get his four-year-old season off to a winning start when he contests the Piako Mitsubishi 1200 at Te Aroha on Sunday.
Cherry was weighing up between starting the three-year-old over 1400m at Rotorua on Saturday but has elected to wait a day and stay closer to home.
“He is going well and I am happy with him,” Cherry said.
“Erin (Leighton, jockey) is riding at Otaki on Saturday so she can’t ride him at Rotorua.
“I wasn’t really keen on the number one draw there (Rotorua), so after discussing it with the owners we have decided to head to Te Aroha on Sunday.”
Cherry is confident of his gelding’s chances heading into Sunday but highlighted fellow debutant winner Notabadphelan as their biggest danger.
“Notabadphelan looks like he is not a bad horse,” Cherry quipped.
Cherry is in his first season of training and while he only has three racehorses in work, he said they give him a nice distraction from his main source of income – breaking-in and pre-training at MoeMoea Park.
“I love it,” he said. “It is a little bit stressful but with all the pre-trainers and breakers we have got at MoeMoea Park it takes your mind off it a bit.”
A career in racing was always on the cards for Cherry, whose earliest memories were on the back of a horse.
“My father, Steven Cherry, was a jockey down in the Central Districts,” he said. “My brother Jimmy and I both rode our first horse when we were two.
“My brother and I both wanted to be jockeys but we got a bit too big, so the next step was being a horse trainer.”
After stints in Australia, the brothers returned to New Zealand and opened MoeMoea Park.
“My brother and I started up MoeMoea Park nine years ago, and Steph (Tierney) and I took it over three years ago,” Cherry said.
Cherry has been breaking-in thoroughbreds for well over two decades and highlighted Black Caviar as the best horse he has educated, although he admitted she didn’t show any signs of brilliance early on.
“When I worked for Kavanagh Racing we broke in Black Caviar,” he said. “She was just a normal filly. They all break in the same and look the same.”