Fraser reliving the special winning feeling

Lewis Caroll (Opie Bosson) finishing best to beat Dancing Flames (inner) at Te Rapa last Saturday.

Lewis Caroll (Opie Bosson) finishing best to beat Dancing Flames (inner) at Te Rapa last Saturday.

Ngaire Fraser will never relive the highlights she enjoyed racing and training Westminster, but she is getting a kick out of her latest rising star.

The Cambridge horsewoman is enjoying a success innings with Lewis Caroll, a Darci Brahma four-year-old who took his record to five wins from just eight starts when he held out Dancing Flames to capture the Pyramid Trucking 1200 at Te Rapa last Saturday.

Fraser bred Lewis Caroll from her Soviet Star mare Yellow Brick Road and races her in partnership with her daughter, Wendy.

Back in the late 1980s Fraser got to experience first-hand the top-level racing in Australasia with Westminster, a stunning black son of Grosvenor who earned more than $1.2 million in prizemoney.

Westminster’s nine wins included three at Group One level and another couple of Group Twos and he was Group One placed on a further eight occasions.

He raced against and beat some of the best gallopers of that era and showed determination, no matter how strong the company and whatever the distance.

Who can forget his fighting effort in the 1989 Gr.1 Railway Handicap at Ellerslie when deadheating for first with the champion sprinter Mr Tiz? Or what about his 1989 Feehan Stakes win at Moonee Valley when beating the great free-goer Vo Rogue?

He also won the Gr.1 Ampol Stakes at Flemington and the 1989 Gr.1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley, as well as beating the highly talented mare Fun On The Run in the 1990 Gr.2 Terrace Regency WFA at Otaki.

And what about his major placings? They included a second in Weston Lea’s 1987 Gr.1 NZ 2000 Guineas, a second when splitting Poetic Prince and Courier Bay in the 1988 Terrace Regency WFA, a third behind Horlicks and Regal City in the first $1 million race in New Zealand, the 1989 DB Draught Classic at Ellerslie, a third to the top Aussie sprinters Rancho Ruler and Special in the Gr.1 Manikato Stakes, a third to Planet Ruler in the Gr.1 Elders Stakes at Caulfield, a third in Te Rapa’s Gr. 1 International Stakes behind Regal City and Horlicks and fourth in Almaraad’s 1989 Gr.1 Cox Plate.

Almost right to the end of his racing career he was continuing the highlights for Fraser. His last placing was a close third behind Better Loosen Up and Stylish Century in the Gr.1 Feehan Stakes at Moonee Valley in September 1990 and he retired after one more start.

As a sire, Westminster was represented by 95 winners with the best being the dual Group One winner Pace Invader (NZ 1000 Guineas and Thorndon Mile).

Yes, they were heady days for Fraser with Westminster and, though since then she has been relatively quiet on the racing front, she has never lost her passion for the sport, passion which has be reignited with Lewis Caroll.

Fraser has been patient with Lewis Caroll, who showed immediate talent when winning his first trial at October in 2014 as a spring two-year-old.

He made a winning debut at New Plymouth over 1100 metres 14 months after that first trial then completed a double when scoring handsomely at Matamata before going down narrowly in his third start, at Te Rapa almost 12 months ago.

Lewis Caroll put together a double earlier this season, at Waverley and Awapuni, and was then beaten by Tiebreaker in his open-class debut at New Plymouth before bouncing back to his best form last Saturday.

Opie Bosson picked up the ride on Lewis Caroll for the first time and it was also the first time Fraser had met the top hoop, a fact she disclosed on a Trackside interview.

“Everyone told me you don’t tell him what to do,” she said. “It was a great ride as I was a bit frightened he might get trapped when he drew number one. He pulled him off the rails so we didn’t get in that position so it was perfect.”

Bosson bounced Lewis Caroll out then tracked the pacemaker Dancing Flames before issuing his challenge early in the home straight. Dancing Flames rallied strongly, but Lewis Caroll did best to score by a short neck.

In typical Fraser fashion, it’s one race at a time with Lewis Caroll so no immediate plans have been set for the talented sprinter. But one thing seems certain – he is going to give Fraser and her daughter many more thrills.