Ticket To Ride has booked her fare to the broodmare paddock after taking out the Group 3 Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) at Riccarton on Wednesday. It was the first black-type victory for the daughter of Shocking who has been in fine form since joining trainer Andrew Carston’s Riccarton stable at the beginning of spring.
Ticket To Ride has won three of her seven starts for the Canterbury trainer and she looked every bit a winner as she jumped away from the gates on Wednesday. She began like a rocket out of barrier two to take an early lead for jockey Kylie Williams before handing up to Terry Moseley on Shirley Maude.
Ticket To Ride regained the lead at the top of the straight and held out a brave Belle Fascino to win by half-a-head, with a further neck back to Kiwi Ida in third. “She anticipated the jump pretty well,” Williams said. “She’s not the quickest horse, but if you put the pressure on she will give you everything she has got. It was a good run from her.”
Formerly trained by Keith and Gavin Opie at Te Aroha, Carston said it was a master stroke by her connections to send her south after she had struggled to find form over winter. “She is a great mare and tough as old boots,” he said. “It was a good decision by (owners) Peter Setchell and Margaret Christian to send her down and this is a fantastic result. “Keith sent her down in great order and he has been in touch with Peter Setchell the whole way through. “I’ll be honest, I have probably been a bit soft on her and they keep telling me to keep racing her because she is looking a bit pretty. They were right and she is a great mare.”
Carston was also pleased for jockey Kylie Williams with whom he has developed a great association. “We have been friends for 15 or so years,” he said. “That’s a Group 3 and a Listed race for us both this year. It’s great to have her in the team.”