Start Wondering scores another feature win in Group 1 NRM Sprint

Start Wondering
Start Wondering wins the Group 1 NRM Sprint at Te Rapa on Saturday – it’s second group one win in three starts

START Wondering won its second group one in three starts when taking out Saturday’s Group 1 NRM Sprint at Te Rapa in New Zealand.

The six-year-old was trained by Paul Belsham in New Zealand before being transferred to the stables of Chris Waller in Sydney where it won three races at Rosehill, but a bleeding attack in May might have come as a blessing in disguise.

Since returning to New Zealand for new trainers Evan and J.J. Rayner, the son of Eighth Wonder ($5.50 at has won two features and finishing a nose behind Signify in the Telegraph Handicap last start.

Co-trainer Evan Rayner loves to let his emotions show and the Wanganui-based horseman was thrilled with the result.

“It’s extra good,” Rayner said. “We weren’t too sure he’d come along just as well (as last start).

“I thought we’re going to get beat soon and if he was going to get beat, it was today.

“He’s a good horse.”

Jockey Johnathan Parkes settled Start Wondering just behind the speed set by Saracino and when he pulled into the clear in the straight, the smart gelding was able to find best in the concluding stages.

“I just wanted to get him out, get him going and put pressure into the race to make sure it was truly run,” Parkes said.

“It couldn’t have worked out better at the top of the straight. We got a split and he’s burst through and run well.”

Saracino looked likely over the final 200m for Lisa Allpress, but race fitness proved the winning attribute for Start Wondering and Parkes always thought he had enough in hand.

“He (Saracino) kick quite well, but I always felt that I was going to pick him up,” Parkes said.

“He always goes out there and gives his all. He was unlucky last start to go down by a nose in the Telegraph, but he’s come out and won nicely today.”

Natuzzi flashed home late to finish second with Saracino holding on for third. Race-favourite Kawi got too far back in the run for Michael Walker, but it made satisfactory ground late.

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