Cambridge Mares Quinella Group One

Cambridge trained mares dominated the finish of the Group One NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes.
The field assembled for the $200,000 Te Aroha feature,was one of the strongest seen for a long time.
In a titanic home stretch duel, Say No More prevailed by the barest of margins over Fleur De Lune.
Third was Xanadu ahead of another Cambridge mare Lady Kipling.
Say No More picked up her second Group One win for the season, after winning the Thorndon Mile at Trentham in January.
The success continued a wonderful association for trainer Paul Duncan and rider Rosie Myers.
“Rosie has ridden three Group One winners and they have all been on my horses” said a delighted Duncan when Say No More was declared the winner.
The combination first tasted success at the elite level when Midnight Oil won the NZ Oaks two seasons ago.
“Paul is such a great conditioner of his horses and it gives you confidence in these big races” said Myers later.
Say No More and Fleur De Lune dominated the race from the outset.
Duncan and Myers devised a pre race strategy which they thought would help their chance of success.
“We were worried about her wide draw, so I told Rosie to be positive and ride her forward” said Duncan.
That was ultimately the winning of the race.
After working across from her wide draw, Say No More was parked on the outside of pacemaker Fleur De Lune.
“She relaxed well once she got there and I got confident when we were able to ease the speed mid race” said Myers.
Also feeling confident was Fleur De Lune’s rider Jason Jago.
“I knew my mare would fight to the line and on the home turn I thought we’d go close” said Jago.
And boy, was it close!
In a desperate finish Say No More got the deciding stride in right on the line.
The finish had many in the grandstands wondering who had won.
A certain Maori race caller was in no doubt though, declaring Fleur De Lune the winner.
Wrong!
The photo finish showed Say No More had her nose in front where it mattered most.
Both jockeys were unsure as to who had won.
Jago thought he’d held on while Myers thought she’d been beaten.
Say No More has fashioned an outstanding record for Duncan.
Saturday’s win was her 6th from just 11 starts and boosted her stake earnings to $303,000.
Duncan is looking forward to campaigning her in Queensland this winter.
“That has always been the plan and she has shown she’s well worth taking over there” said Duncan.
 
This racing game is the greatest game in the world, but gee it can be cruel sometimes.
You had to feel for Fleur De Lune’s connections, especially trainer Lee Somervell and rider Jason Jago.
Somervell knew he had a live chance at training his first Group One winner.
“I set her for this race and we nearly got the prize but that’s the way it goes” mused Somervell.
Somervell was obviously gutted to lose but really felt for his jockey.
“Jason is such a wonderful bloke and it would have been a fantastic boost to his career” said Somervell.
Judging by that effort though maybe a win at the elite level isn’t that far away.
They certainly deserve it.
 
Jago did get some compensation though winning on Anna Maria and Goldminer.
Anna Maria is trained by Tim and Margaret Carter while Goldminer is prepared by Shaune Ritchie.
Jago rode judicious races on both horses which definitely aided their chances.
The other local winner on the day was Pellegrini who scored an all the way win for Murray Baker and Lisa Allpress.
Pellegrini capped off some consistent efforts of late with a brave effort.
He should go on with it too.
 
Finally……….Don’t forget the Cambridge JC ‘s Travis Stakes Day at Te Rapa on Saturday 28th April.
It is shaping up as a great day and one not to be missed. 
 
Catch you next week.
 
Cheers
 
George.