Class performances on Travis Stakes Day

The Cambridge Jockey Club’s Travis Stakes Day lived up to expectations with exciting finishes and too-class performances.

The Cambridge region had a connection to the first four home in the Gr. 2 Travis Stakes with victory going to Rasa Lila, who is trained at Maungatautari (on the outskirts of Cambridge) by Steven and Julia Ramsay and owned and bred by Sir Peter Vela,  owner of Pencarrow Stud.

Chasing Rasa Lila home was last year’s winner, Abidewithme, ridden by Cambridge jockey Michael McNab and bred and owned by Sir Patrick Hogan, while the next two placings were filled by horses prepared at the Cambridge centre, Gesemi (Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman) and Thee Auld Floozie (Stephen Marsh).

The other feature event on the card, the Gr. 3 Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders Stakes, saw dual Group One winner Xtravagent, ridden by Matt Cameron, live up to expectations when beating South Island visitor First Serve and Volks Lightning. It was Xtravagent’s second notable win at Te Rapa, following on from his Gr. 1 NRM Sprint victory last February.

Cambridge stables enjoyed success with the Lee Somervell-trained Silhouette Noir, a former South Island mare ridden by Cambridge jockey Trudy Thornton, and Lanciato, prepared by Stephen Marsh. Both won in good fashion suggesting there is more in store.

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Super Saturday for Cambridge

Wow, what a 2016 Derby Day at Ellerslie for the Cambridge centre.

After placings in the first couple of races, Cambridge hit its straps when the Shelley Hale-trained Go Nicholas produced an impressive finish to win the fourth event.

Shaune Ritchie’s Way In chimed in with a third in the next race, then it was all Cambridge throughout the rest of the programme, taking the last five races including all the features of the day.

The Stephen Marsh-trained No More Tears landed the first black-type of the day in the Gr. 3 Stella Artois Mr Tiz Trophy then Tony Pike chimed in with his top sprinter Sacred Star gaining a deserved win in the Gr. 3 Darley Plate.

Last season’s leading trainers, Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, landed the third black-type event on the card with the ever-improving Mime in the Gr. 3 McKee Family Sunline Vase, then it was the big one, the Gr. 1 $750,000 BMW NZ Derby and Pike came so close to a notable quinella.

The ever-consistent Rangipo landed the money, giving rider Vinnie Colgan his sixth win in the classic, while stablemate Raghu narrowly missed second with What’s The Story charging into the placing.

To top the day off nicely for Cambridge, Baker and Forsman produced Victory Drive to win the final event, giving rider Michael Coleman his third win of the day. Coleman’s wins all came on Cambridge horses, the others being Mime and No More Tears.

Congratulations to all the winning connections. It’s a day for the Cambridge centre to cherish and a high point in the career of Tony Pike with his first Derby success.

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Blackbookers from Cambridge centre

During the past week Cambridge unleased a couple of impressive debut winners, Krystrump and Romantic Maid, at Avondale and Chenille, a serious staying prospect for the St Leger, at Matamata.

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Avondale Cup day memories

Saint Emilion signalled a big day for Cambridge stables at the Avondale Cup meeting when winning the first event, then Go Nicholas chimed in before trainer Tony Pike struck the feature double, taking the Avondale Cup with Sacred Master and the Avondale Guineas with Rangipo.

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Half the card to Cambridge

Horses from the Cambridge centre won half the programme on a rain-drenched track at Rotorua yesterday.

Roger James started the day with a double, then Emma-Lee and David Browne, Stephen Marsh and Trevor and Martin Cruz all chimed in for their turns in the winner’s enclosure.

Congratulations to all the successful connections.

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Lengthy trips prove rewarding

Cambridge trainers Tony Pike and Shaune Ritchie opted for a couple of lengthy trips for their respective charges Skyweka and Ruby Bloom this week and ended up with the desired result.

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A dozen in two days for Cambridge

Another four winners at Tauranga last Saturday made it 12 wins for horses from the Cambridge centre two days into the New Year.

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Great start to 2016 for Cambridge

Eight winners on the first day of 2016 signalled the start of another big year for the Cambridge centre.

Locals picked up seven of the 10 races at Ellerslie, while Ross McCarroll’s trip to Hastings proved successful with Seymour.

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Field day at Te Rapa for Cambridge reps

Te Rapa on October 2 proved a field day for Cambridge horses with six of the nine races won by representatives of the centre. A day earlier a trip to Waverley proved successful for the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Del Rios.

Photos courtesy of Race Images.

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Gentil Tonton a welcome winner

Gentil Tonton provided Cambridge trainers Martin and Trevor Cruz with an overdue first win for the season when scoring handsomely at Ellerslie, while on the same day Shaune Ritchie enjoyed success with Victoria Heights.

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Photos courtesy of Race Images’ Kenton Wright.