Waverley trainer Jaimee-Lee Lupton missed an opportunity to follow in the Wellington Cup footsteps of her grandfather this month, but she picked up some consolation with a win in the Kamada Park Summer Cup (2400m) at Trentham on Saturday.
Lupton’s late grandfather, Snow Lupton, produced Kiwi to win the 1983 Wellington Cup and later that year gain a special place in Melbourne Cup history when unleashing a last-to-first finishing burst in the hands of Jim Cassidy.
Now 35 years later, the latest edition of Lupton trainers is making her mark as a horsewoman and at Trentham on Saturday her charge Soleseifei credited her with her biggest win.
Soleseifei was among the entries for the Wallaceville Estate Castletown Wellington Cup (3200m) a week ago but was withdrawn despite a last-start second on the track on December 9.
“It was just too long between runs,” Lupton said. “She gets big and gross and it would have been too much for her. She was better suited coming back to 2400 metres.”
Soleseifei had been regularly ridden by Johnathan Parkes, but apprentice Tim Johnson took over the reins on Saturday and gave her every opportunity.
He had her tracking the leader Bizzwinkle for much of the journey then up eye-balling him approaching the home turn.
Soleseifei took over soon after straightening then had a battle with Hunta Pence, who faltered inside the final 100 metres and dropped behind.
Duplicity then issued a challenge, but Soleseifei was too strong, winning by three-quarters of a length, while Hank Moody ran on for third ahead of Hunta Pence.
Lupton has never doubted Soleseifei’s ability, but she was surprised by how she won the Summer Cup (2400m).
“It surprised me to see her so handy. She’s never been so far forward,” Lupton said. “It was a brilliant ride by Tim.”
A daughter of Shocking, Soleseifei has now recorded four wins and three placings from 16 starts with two of those wins coming in her last three starts, the other being a Rating 65 win over 2300 metres at Otaki last month.
She is raced by a Taupo couple, Lyall Ridge and Marianne Slagter, who have two horses in the Lupton stable.
Their other stable runner is Solsavon, a three-year-old filly also by Shocking. Solsavon has been placed fourth in both her starts and holds a nomination for the Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld NZ Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 17.
Ridge and Slagter bought Soleseifei for $26,000 from the 2014 Select Yearling Sale at Karaka and the mare has now picked up more than $60,000 in prizemoney with the promise of more to come.
As well as being by the 2009 Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner Shocking, Soleseifei is from an unraced half-sister to the Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) winner Gallic.
Included in her extended pedigree is Solveig, the 1985 NZ Filly of the Year and winner of 14 races including three Group Ones (Avondale Cup, NZ Oaks, and Trentham’s DB 1600). This is also the family of last season’s Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) winner Jon Snow.