Taranaki galloper Justaskme gained a measure of revenge for an unlucky effort in last week’s Group 3 Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton when he triumphed in Saturday’s Heatstore Open Handicap (1400m) at the venue.
The Allan Sharrock-trained six-year-old had finished runner-up in the Winter Cup after being held up at a vital stage in the run home but made amends in the hands of apprentice Bailey Rogerson, who made full use of her four-kilogram claim on the Heavy11 surface.
Rogerson had Justaskme well in touch with the field throughout before angling wide for a run at the top of the long Riccarton home straight.
Asked for a serious effort in the last 100m, Justaskme knuckled down to out-finish the well-supported first day winner Rock Island Line with Louie Louie battling on well to take third.
With Sharrock electing to stay home in New Plymouth it was left to fellow trainer David Haworth to put the winning touches on Justaskme for the race and he took great delight in reminding Sharrock about the feat.
“We’ve had him all week and history tells you he ran second on the first day and he has won today, so I have improved him,” Haworth said.
“He is a neat little horse, although he did stand on my toe in the birdcage and I nearly hit the deck.
“He is a lovely little horse and I thought Bailey rode him a treat as she listened to what we told her and the rest is history.”
Raced by Sharrock, his brother Bruce and close friend Tony Kemp, Justaskme was bred by his trainer and has now won seven of his 13 starts and over $136,000 in prizemoney.
He is the fourth living foal from O’Reilly mare Often, a daughter of Group 3 NZ St Leger Stakes (2500m) winner Freequent and is closely related to Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) winner I Do and Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) winner, Court Ruler.