From the Commentary Box 2 May 2016

The Cambridge Jockey Club’s Premier raceday at Te Rapa last Saturday was a resounding success.

Featuring top quality fields throughout the eight race card, there was action aplenty on the track. The two feature races went the way of the two favourites.

The Group Two feature, the Travis Stakes was won by RASA LILA. Raced by Sir Peter Vela, RASA LILA dashed away for a comprehensive three length victory in the hands of Leith Innes.

After settling midfield on the rail, Innes had his mount in a challenging position nearing the turn. “She was bolting on the turn and it was a matter of just releasing the brakes.” said Innes. Once unleashed, RASA LILA dashed away from runner up ABIDEWITHME.

In third spot was GESEMI from the Baker/Forsman stable.

RASA LILA is trained by Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie at Mangatautari. Ramsay was obviously delighted after the race. “She was given a peach of a ride by Leith and she deserved this valuable Group Two win.” said Ramsay. “Wide barrier draws haven’t helped her at her two last starts, so this is pretty satisfying.” he added.

The other feature race was the Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders Stakes and once again the race went to script.

Dominating the pre-race discussion was the dual Group One winner, XTRAVAGANT and he didn’t disappoint. The Te Akau owned colt blitzed his rivals, justifying his odds on favouritism.

Regular pilot Matt Cameron eased his mount in behind the speed after an early speed dual. “I didn’t intend trailing but he relaxed beautifully and I knew we had them covered a long way out.” said Cameron.

XTRAVAGANT won by nearly three lengths with Southern filly FIRST SERVE finishing second. VOLKS LIGHTNING ran third. Co trainer Stephen Autridge was still undecided on the future plans for XTRAVAGANT.

“We will be meeting next week and will decide then if he goes to Queensland for a Winter campaign.” said Autridge.

There were two local successes at the meeting.

SILHOUETTE NOIRE sprung a major surprise when winning for Lee Somervell. The former Southern mare started at 43 to 1 and bloused out her more fancied rivals. It was a victory which caught most punters off guard, but not the stable.

“Her work has been first class leading into the race and I thought she’d go a cheeky race.” said Somervell.
SILHOUETTE NOIRE will now head to Rotorua for a black type race.

The other local winner was LANCIATO trained by Stephen Marsh. LANCIATO was the second of the two winners on the day for jockey Leith Innes.

Innes was very impressed by the win. “He did that pretty easily and the turn of foot he showed was very good.” said Innes. LANCIATO looks set for more success judging by the quality of this latest win.

Catch you soon.

Cheers

George.