Double delight for local apprentices

Senassy, the second of Zy Nor Azman's four winners over a couple of meetings last week.

Senassy, the second of Zy Nor Azman’s four winners over a couple of meetings last week.

A couple of Cambridge apprentices hauled in the wins in doubles last week.

Not content with just one win on last Wednesday’s Tauranga programme, Ralph Manning’s apprentice Zy Nor Azman followed up a win aboard hot favourite and stable representative Cameahotfriday with a victory on Senassy ($11.90) for Cambridge trainer Roger Lang.

Two days later at Avondale, Nor Azman was on fire again, winning aboard the 70/1 longshot Smoochy for Matamata trainer Ellen Osborne. He then rocked punters again when winning the last race on Nulla Creek ($48.70) for Ruakaka trainer Gordon Blundell.

Last Saturday at Te Rapa the attention switched to Chris Wood’s apprentice Viktoria Gatu, who picked up a double on stable charges Pacorus and Wooden Edge. The two horses had been part of a four-win weekend for Gatu late last month, Pacorus winning at Tauranga and Wooden Edge at Te Awamutu to go with the wins aboard Admiral and Summer Dale.

Gatu (30) has now ridden 42 winners with 17 of them coming this season, while Nor Azman (28) has kicked home 16 winners in his first season on the New Zealand scene.

Both talented apprentices will be attempting to maintain their good runs when competing at Matamata on Saturday with three confirmed rides apiece.

Gatu will ride the Paul Mirabelli-trained My Baby Rocs in the first event, while Nor Azman’s day starts in race two aboard Eva Quick Steph for Waikato trainer Shelley Wright. Nor Azman was aboard when Eva Quick Steph ran a creditable fresh-up fifth at Matamata earlier this month.

Ruby Rueben is a leading chance for Nor Azman and Rotorua trainer Sandra Mathews in the third event after seconds in both his two starts this campaign.

Nor Azman’s other ride on the Matamata programme is in the fourth event aboard Ian George’s Deluxe Edition, a Tavistock four-year-old whose sole win was on the Matamata course 12 months ago.

Gatu will clash with Nor Azman in the fourth race and looks to have a stronger prospect in Its a Kinda Magic, Peter and Jessica Brosnan’s mare on whom she has picked up fifths in her last two starts.

Its A Kinda Magic cleared maiden ranks on the Matamata track in June last year when beating the very promising Mr Luigi, who is bound for Sydney after a win at Te Rapa last Saturday. Third home in that race was Deluxe Edition.

Gatu will also ride Dahls Delight for the Brosnans in the sixth event and the Any Suggestion mare rates a strong chance after a second to Raisedinasandpit on the track a fortnight ago.