Impressive Te Rapa maiden winners

Star Of Bombay
Star Of Bombay is out on her own as she hits the line at Te Rapa Photo credit: Trish Dunell

Trainer Jamie Richards is in two minds about what to do with impressive maiden winner Star Of Bombay who opened her winning account with a dominant victory over 1200m at Te Rapa on Sunday. The Atlante filly settled nicely outside early leader O’Charm in the early stages before exerting her authority over the closing 200m where she went to the line a comfortable four length winner in a slick 1.09.88 for the 1200m journey.

Placed second on debut at Avondale earlier in the month, Star Of Bombay showed the benefit of that raceday experience which pleased her trainer who had been concerned about the wide barrier draw she had to contend with. “We had her entered for a few races and meetings as we looked to get a good barrier for her but we couldn’t seem to strike one,” Richards said. “In the end there looked to be a fair bit of pace inside her so I thought if she could slide across early on, she might get a nice trip outside the speed and that is exactly how it panned out “She showed some nice stretch in the last bit so it was a good win.”

Although the filly holds a nomination for the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham in January, Richards is more of the mind to keep her to the sprint distances for the foreseeable future. “I do think she is a short, sharp type that is best suited over 1200m and the like,” he said.

“We put in a nomination for the Levin Classic but I’m in two minds if she can get 1600m. We’ll see how she comes through today and then look around for her next run but at the moment a race like the Mr Tiz Trophy (Group 3, 1200m) on Karaka Million night in January might be more suitable for her. “Dave (Ellis) bought her for $50,000 at the Ready To Run Sale last year and she has a great bunch of owners in her so I can see them having plenty of fun along the way.”

Another impressive maiden winner on display was four-year-old Peace Train who dashed home over the final stages of his 1400m contest to score in fine fashion. Having just his third start, the Russell and Robyn Rogers-bred and trained gelding had caught the eye with a comfortable trial win at Taupo earlier in the month. “We’ve always liked him but he’s just taken time to put it all together,” Robyn Rogers said. “We had him ready to go as a late three-year-old but the tracks had turned so his two runs were in the wet which just doesn’t suit him.

“He got a good track at the trials and really showed what he could do. Lynsey (Satherley) rode him that day and told me afterwards there weren’t many horses that could let down like he did so we were quite confident of a good run when we got him to the races. “There looked to be a bit of a front runners bias before the race so we weren’t that concerned if he didn’t win, but in the end, he put them away well which is very exciting.”

Rogers and her husband will now look at a rating 65 1400m back at Te Rapa next month as their immediate target for Peace Train who became sire Niagara’s 17th individual winner. That success is music to the ears of the couple who are shareholders in Niagara, who currently stands for a fee of $5,000 at The Oaks Stud.

“We paraded Niagara at our place when he first came to New Zealand and really loved what we saw,” Rogers said. “We ended up taking shares in him and have bred some lovely horses to him. “Time will tell but Peace Train could go on to do some big things as a stayer which will be great for us and his sire as well.”

The victory also capped off a fine week for the Rogers’ broodmare La Campanella with Peace Train’s Shamexpress half-brother sold to Melbourne-based trainer Mick Price for $100,000 on the first day of the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale of Two-Year-Olds on Wednesday.