Cook Back To His Winning Ways

Barry Cook is relishing his second opportunity at the training game and looking forward to next season with a promising young member of his team.

These days based at Cambridge, he is enjoying his return with the juvenile Buffalo Boy spearheading his comeback to the licence-holder ranks.

Buffalo Boy was a winner earlier in the season in the Central Districts and similar going at Te Rapa on Saturday saw the gelding strike again.

“He’s a very good horse on a dry track and this is the best one he’s struck since Otaki,” Cook said.

Buffalo Boy finished doggedly down the outside of the track and will now be spelled and return for the early season three-year-old features.

Sharing in the glory at the weekend was Lee Somervell’s apprentice Ulrika Holmquist, who also won on the Cook-trained Billie Jean King at Te Aroha last month.

She settled Buffalo Boy behind the leading division before improving across the top and they finished on valiantly to beat the well-fancied Shees Flawless.

“That’s the second ride she’s had for me and the second winner,” Cook said.

Meanwhile, fellow Cambridge trainer Roger James believes the best is yet to come from his Te Rapa Rating 65 winner Enjay.

He said the High Chaparral mare was still developing and had the scope to make her mark in good staying company.

“I think she can get two miles one day, she’s a year behind maturity-wise.”

James later completed a double for the day when Clara Jane’s racing fortunes took a turn for the better with victory in the Rating 75 mile.

“It was a gutsy effort and she laid her ears back and tried hard,” he said.

“She’s a lot better than her form suggested, she hasn’t had a lot of luck on a few occasions.”

And in Australia, the Gary Alton-trained Rockwell put the disappointment of a last-start failure behind him with victory at the Gold Coast.

He was ridden by Kiwi jockey Vinnie Colgan and they had no trouble overcoming a wide gate to win a 1300 metre event.

The son of superstar stallion Fastnet Rock had finished runner-up in his Australian debut at Ipswich before heat stress took its toll when unplaced at the Sunshine Coast.

Raced by Ascot Farm principals Bruce and Maureen Harvey, Rockwell had earned his trip with runaway win at Avondale in April in his first appearance.