A winning quip from Thomas

Matt Cameron making his trip to Te Aroha worthwhile on Raisedinasandpit. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Matt Cameron making his trip to Te Aroha worthwhile on Raisedinasandpit. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Graham Thomas had a tongue-in-cheek comment for leading jockey Matthew Cameron at Te Aroha today and both were in the winner’s enclosure later.

After watching Cameron weigh-out to ride his charge Raisedinasandpit in the final event, the Te Aroha Stallion Placement Scheme 1600, Thomas offered the words of encouragement: “This is you best ride of the day.”

Cameron reacted with a smile, knowing full well the Cambridge trainer knew his other couple of rides had been scratched. “I thought I might have the day off but then I saw this one still in,” said Cameron.

In typical fashion, Cameron was out to make the most of the one-ride day and it was his vigour on Raisedinasandpit over the final stages which saw the six-year-old Istidaad mare score by a half-length from The Best Man after a home-stretch tussle.

Cameron had ridden Raisedinasandpit twice previously with the best result being a fifth, but Thomas was expecting a bold showing Placed in six of her previous 16 starts, the mare had been trapped wide throughout when sixth at New Plymouth last start and had gone a fair race for fourth at Te Rapa previously.

Raisedinthesandpit became the third Cambridge winner on the seven-race Te Aroha programme, following on from Raisafuasho and Candidly in two of the jumps races.

Ridden by Cambridge jumps jockey Michael Mitchell, Raisafuasho appropriately won the race sponsored by her owner-trainer Ann Browne.

Raisafuascho (Michael Mitchell) on his way to victory today. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Raisafuascho (Michael Mitchell) on his way to victory today. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

The eight-year-old gelding gave a good display and finished the Ann Browne Racing Maiden Hurdle off nicely to score by a length and three-quarters from Regalo Reeal with his stablemate Hunters Creek running on for third.

Raisafuasho began his career with Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie and was a maiden winner at Te Awamutu in October 2011 before joining the Browne stable for which he had won a further two flat races and recorded several placings.

After a good grounding as a jumper, Raisafuasho made his hurdle debut at Te Aroha two years and finished fifth behind It’s A Message.

“The horse in front hit the panel and it flicked up and gave him a fright that day,” recalled Browne. “He hadn’t jumped a fence since then until last week when he schooled at home. Michael (Mitchell) came out and schooled him and wanted to ride him today. He jumped well and I thought he’d go well.”

Browne was also pleased with Hunters Creek’s late run for third.

“He loses ground on the bends and you’ve just got to keep pushing him along,” she said. “He went all right.”