Baker – Forsman run continues

Huayra (Opie Bosson) returning to scale after a courageous debut win at Tauranga today.

Huayra (Opie Bosson) returning to scale after a courageous debut win at Tauranga today.

Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman extended their lead on the NZ Trainers’ Premiership with a treble of wins at Tauranga today.

The leading Cambridge trainers had four starters on the day and as well as wins with Huayra, Nailed It and Nicoletta they picked up a fourth behind Huayra with Onstage in the first event.

Baker and Forsman have now notched 44 wins for the season, 13 clear of their nearest rivals, Kevin Myers and the Te Akau Racing partnership of Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards.

The wins came as no surprise to both the stable and punters with each of the winners starting as favourite. In fact, Nicoletta was backed into red hot favouritism in the final event, starting at $1.60 for the win.

Three of the country’s top jockeys shared in the treble of wins with Opie Bosson successful on Huayra, Matt Cameron on Nailed It and Danielle Johnson on Nicoletta.

Huayra, an Australian-bred three-year-old son of Nicconi, made his debut in the Interislander Summer Festival Tauranga 1200 and he started as a $2.60 favourite on the strength of a last-start trials win at Cambridge. He had been placed in three of his four previous trials.

Ridden along to be handy from the outset by Bosson, Huayra was fifth across the top bend and hampered early in the run home, but once balanced he finished well through the centre to win by a short head from Kittykittybangbang, while stablemate Onstage ran on strongly down the outside for fourth, three-quarters of a length from the winner.

“It was a good effort to pick himself up off the deck,” said Forsman. “He had to change ground after getting checked and to really hit the line like that for a green horse still learning the caper is a great run.

“We thought we had two good chances in the race, but Onstage drew wide and had to cover too much ground. She’ll improve a lot with the run.”

Forsman had been concerned pre-race about Nailed It’s ability to cope with the Good3 track, having shown her best form on rain-affected footing, including her lead-up win on a Slow7 track at Tauranga earlier this month.

However, Nailed It gave her supporters no worries during the running of Mills Reef Winery & Restaurant 1600. She soon took the lead and after travelling well coming to the home turn she kicked strongly and held on well to score by a half-length from Staccato.

“That was the plan (to lead) and it’s nice when it works out,” said Forsman. “I thought there might have been more pressure early. It all played into our hands.

“It’s good to see her do it on top of the ground, too.”

Nicoletta, a nominee for the Levin Classic and NZ Oaks, notching her first win at Tauranga today.

Nicoletta, a nominee for the Levin Classic and NZ Oaks, notching her first win at Tauranga today.

Owned and bred by Emma Evans, Nailed It has now won six of her 31 starts and picked up 10 placings.

Nicoletta, racing in the prominent colours of Lib Petagna’s JML Bloodstock Ltd, led home a Cambridge quinella in the Fashion In The Field Japan Cup Day 1600, scoring by three-quarters of a length from the Roger James-trained Driven Force.

After being placed in two of her three previous starts, the Savabeel filly was pushed along in the early stages to track the leader. She was travelling nicely with 600 metres to run and soon afterward she was up challenging for the lead.

She took the lead with 350 metres to run and resisted the challengers in determined fashion to take a step toward her Trentham goals, the Gr.1 Randwick Meats Levin Classic on January 14 and the Gr.1 Wellfield NZ Oaks on March 18.