Innes strikes again for family

Espresso Martini (Leith Innes) getting the better of Jip Jip Rock (inner) to win the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial 3YO at Ellerslie today.

Credit went to jockey Leith Innes for a gem of a ride which landed Espresso Martini valuable black type in the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial 3YO (1500m) at Ellerslie today.

The daughter of High Chaparral and Group One winner Keepa Cruisin stalked the leader Jip Jip Rock throughout, before peeling off her back to collar her late.

“Leith rode her an absolute treat and it is great for Donna Love and the team to get a result here with a stakes win,” co-trainer Andrew Forsman said.

“She has come a long way from winning a New Plymouth maiden in a short period of time, but Leith gave her every opportunity.

“When he went out, Leith said he’d won a Group One on the mother and she wasn’t much bigger than her so it gives us a bit of hope and it’s a massive result.”

Forsman, who prepares Espresso Martini in partnership with Murray Baker, admitted he wasn’t confident heading into the race.

“We thought she was an each-way chance at best coming in and would have been delighted if she could land some black-type,” he said.

“That was why we brought her here and it probably wasn’t the strongest race in the world.

“There are a lot of horses on the way up that are looking for further in the future, but she got her race today and she deserves it.”

Forsman said the Gr.2 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day was the most likely next assignment for Espresso Martini.

“While a filly like her is in form you’ve just got to keep targeting the good fillies’ races,” he said.

Espresso Martini also holds a nomination for the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham on January 12, a race won by her mother in 2007 with Innes in the saddle.

Espresso Martini was purchased by Bloodstock Agent James Harron on behalf of prominent Australian owners Donna and Rob Love, who have raced Group One winners Shamal Wind and Capitalist.

The dam of Espresso Martini, a $150,000 purchase from The Oaks Stud’s 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale draft, is a half-sister to seven-time Group One winner Seachange

– NZ Racing Desk.