Cambridge stables dominant at Avondale

Sprocket (Matt Cameron) fighting strongly on the inside to give Cambridge the first of its seven wins at Avondale yesterday.

Sprocket (Matt Cameron) fighting strongly on the inside to give Cambridge the first of its seven wins at Avondale yesterday.

Cambridge trainers were in a winning mood at Avondale yesterday when dominating the card.

Of the nine events, seven were won by horses from the Cambridge training centre and among the winners were a few shining lights.

Sprocket, a three-year-old son of Nom du Jeu, started the ball rolling when winning the first race, the [email protected] 28 February 2200 for trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.

Given a good run in the trail by Matt Cameron, Sprocket improved off the fence approaching the home turn and, after challenging early in the run home, he got up in the final stages to win by a head.

Sprocket has improved with each of his runs and the victory came in his third start and first time at a staying test. He had run eighth on debut over 1600 then second over 1800 at New Plymouth.

Anacapri, owned and trained at Cambridge by David Wilson, followed up a couple of eye-catching trials with an impressive win in the second event, the Waterview 1200.

Ridden by Jason Waddell, she worked across from her draw to lead and left her rivals struggling in her wake when winning by two and a quarter lengths.

The Cambridge roll continued in the third race with the Tony Pike-trained Morweka, who also looked smart in her debut after a couple of trials.

She was caught wide when going forward in the early stages and soon got into second placing before taking over early in the run home. She kicked strongly for rider Vinnie Colgan and won by three-quarters of a length with her ears pricked.

Elusive Empire was also impressive in her win in the next race, the IRT 1400, for trainers Martin and Trevor Cruz and rider Mark Du Plessis.

She followed up three strong placings with a dominant display after beginning awkwardly. She was soon in front and kicked on the home turn to win by three and a half lengths.

Nikita (Alysha Collett) powering down the outside to win at Avondale yesterday.

Nikita (Alysha Collett) powering down the outside to win at Avondale yesterday.

Nikita, the Cambridge winner of the fifth race, the NZB Insurance Pearl Series 1400, was ridden in contrasting fashion to Elusive Empire, being allowed to settle second-last by rider Alysha Collett. She was worked off the fence at the 600 and angled to the outside early in the run home and charged home to win by two and a quarter lengths.

Trained by Shaune Ritchie, Nikita was having her eighth start and her best previous effort was a fourth over 1200 at Te Rapa behind the talented Miss Dalghar. Yesterday was her second start at 1400 and showed she will be even better suited over more ground.

Mystery Show, having her first start for Stephen Marsh, then stepped up to keep the Cambridge run going when taking the sixth event, the Point Chevalier 1200, and she gave the impression there is a lot of improvement in her.

Matamata trainers Mike Moroney and Pam Gerard and Ruakaka’s Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs then picked up the next two races with Dreamcatcher and Jake The Muss respectively, but Cambridge had the last say when the Stephen Marsh-trained Longford cleared maiden ranks in the Goodwin Property Management 1600.