Comeback galloper scores for Carters

A decision to have another crack with the retired Fortune Knight had an unexpected result at Ruakaka last Saturday.

In his fourth start for Cambridge trainers Tim and Margaret Carter, Fortune Knight was thrown in the deep end as a Rating 64 horse competing against the open-class gallopers in the Morris & Morris Funerals Handicap, but he scored an upset win when beating two other Camnbridge gallopers, last-start winner Worthing and Snave.

“In a way we were lured into the race,” said Margaret Carter. “There were only a small amount of noms and the worst he could do was run sixth. Tim and I both felt he was ready to go, but it was a bit scary taking on the open handicappers.”

Fortune Knight was ridden by stable apprentice Kevin Leung and settled fourth as Abeautifulred made the pace then was joined by Worthing with 600 metres to run. By that stage Fortune Knight was camped in third spot and under Leung’s urgings he finished solidly to outgun Worthing by a length.

“It was great for Kevin,” said Carter. “He’s been with us a fortnight and he’s ridden two winners for us now. This one will give him a lot of confidence.”

Fortune Knight, bred in Great Britain by Compton Place from a Night Shift mare, began his career in England from the stable of Richard Hannon. He registered a juvenile win, at Lingfield over 1400 metres, and three placings from six starts and after finishing sixth in a Gr.2 event at Goodwood in July 2011 he was sent to Hong Kong, where he joined the stable of Michael Chang.

“He got injured in Hong Kong and he was retired and came back here to our place,” said Carter “Tim sells quite a few horses to clients in Hong Kong and we often get retired horses back here.

“He had a slight strain of the tendon and was out spelling when we checked his legs and decided to have a crack with him. There was no sign of thickening of the tendon and we even had it checked again after we gave him his first trial at Waipa (on May 10).”

The Carters got a syndicate together to race Fortune Knight. Joining them in the syndicate is their son, Morgan, along with Tom O’Shea and his son, Phillip, and Colin Bloor and Lindsey Tissiman. “Tom and Phillip were both in Vonusti (the Carters’ Gr.1 Telegraph Handicap winner) and they were wanting to get into another horse.”

Fortune Knight finished fifth at Pukekohe on May 31 in his first start from the Carter stable then failed at Tauranga when again striking a heavy track.

“He got away with the heavy track first-up, but it all turned to custard at Tauranga,” said Carter. “We were never convinced he was a wet-tracker so that’s why we took him to Ruakaka.”

Fortune Knight finished third behind Leonidas in a R65 1400 metres on that first trip to Ruakaka and will the experience on the track he improved a couple of placings last Saturday.

“I’m not sure where we’ll go with him now,” said Carter. “We’re a bit overwhelmed by the win.”