Foote’s luck turns around

Illuminati (Trudy Thornton) scoring a well-deserved stakes win at Rotorua.

Illuminati (Trudy Thornton) scoring a well-deserved stakes win at Rotorua.

Ben Foote’s day didn’t start well at Rotorua yesterday, but he ended it on a celebratory note after a significant victory from his genuine mare Illuminati.

“I dropped my lip earlier after the other two horses didn’t perform up to expectations, but I’m happy now,” said the Cambridge trainer.

Bazz and So It Goes had turned in disappointing efforts in the Rating 85 1600 before Illuminati restored the stable pride with a runaway win in the Listed Classic Cuisine Rotorua WFA Stakes.

The Keeper mare has been hot on the trail of black-type in the last two seasons and she had been placed at Group Three level in the Winter Cup, the White Robe Lodge Stakes and in the Cuddle Stakes before breaking through at Rotorua.

“It’s well-deserved. She’s quite a tough mare,” said Foote. “She got a couple of Group placings last preparation, but she never got the tracks to suit her. She needs cut in the ground.”

Foote has yet to confirm Illuminati’s winter campaign, but the Listed Team Wealleans Tauranga Classic next month and a second crack at the EstarOnline Winter Cup at Riccarton on August 6 are two tempting options.

Illuminati jumped well yesterday from her inside gate to track the pace and rider Trudy Thornton said she had no worries during the running.

“She travelled well and I got to the outside turning for home and she did the rest,” said Thornton. “She gives her heart and soul. It’s a terrific result.”

Illuminati was two and three quarter lengths clear of the outsiders Madonna Mia and Lady Zafira at the post.

– NZ Racing Desk.