Farr starts ball rolling for Cambridge

Emily Farr guiding Kentucky Son to a strong win in the first race at Ellerslie.

Emily Farr guiding Kentucky Son to a strong win in the first race at Ellerslie.

A rail-hugging ride by apprentice Emily Farr started a successful day at Ellerslie yesterday for Cambridge stables.

It was a combination of a versatile rider and horse when Farr won the first event, the Stella Artois 2400 on Kentucky Son.

Farr mixes flat and jumps riding and Kentucky Son has also made his mark in both areas, showing much promise on the flat before being successful as a jumper at Rotorua last month when ridden by Will Gordon.

When initially trained by Lee Somervell, Kentucky Son’s flat form included four wins and a fourth at odds of better than 144/1 in the 2014 New Zealand Derby behind Puccini.

Kentucky Son joined the stable of Craig Phelan (father of Farr’s partner, Shaun Phelan) for his jumps campaign this winter with both Farr and Phelan junior doing the schooling with the son of Civics, in which Somervell has retained a share.

Farr had previously ridden Kentucky Son twice on raceday, both in hurdle events and with no luck. In fact her first ride on the horse resulted in a fall at Te Aroha last July.

But there was no way Farr was going to let bad luck be an excuse yesterday as she settled Kentucky Son in the trail from the outset and gained an inside run in the home straight.

Kentucky Son forged through to lead with 250 metres to run and kept going strongly to score by three and a half lengths from the favourite, Hilarious.

Two races later Mangaroa Flo Jo chimed in for Cambridge when winning the Ecochill 2400 in the hands of Matamata apprentice Anna Jones, then Chenille recaptured her best form for trainer Tony Pike in the next race, the South Auckland Racing Club Cup, when beating another Cambridge galloper, Battle Time, by a neck.

Move on to race six on the card, the Auckland Co-Op Taxis 1400, and Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman had reason to celebrate after their charge Coldplay came up trumps over Lauberhorn.

Winner of the Eulogy Stakes last season, Coldplay had the benefit of two trials leading into yesterday’s event and was well-ridden by Vinnie Colgan.

After beginning well, Coldplay was sixth or seventh for much of the 1400-metre trip and unleashed a strong finish down the centre of the track inside the last 200 metres to win by three-quarters of a length.

An eye-catching run in the race came from another Cambridge galloper, the Linda Laing-trained Neala, who flashed home late for fourth.

Win number five on the eight race programme for Cambridge came in the final event, the Coca Cola 1400, when Mo Chara recorded back-to-back wins for trainer Ross McCarroll.

Bouncing well from her draw, the Don Eduardo mare disputed then set the pace and kicked strongly off the home turn for rider Sam Weatherley.

Despite some threatening challenges, Mo Chara refused to give in and got home by a half-length from the favourite, Symphonic.