From the Commentary Box – Monday, 30th November 2015

Cambridge stables dominated proceedings at Ellerslie on Saturday

The locals ended the day with a five win haul on the nine race programme. Heading the charge was the Roger Lang trained filly Alamer who sprang a major surprise in the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial for three year olds. Ridden by Sam Collett, Alamer was friendless in the betting, going off at odds of nearly 60 to 1. The Alamosa filly led her more fancied rivals throughout the 1500m event, a tactic which caught her trainer by surprise. “I told Sam to get some cover and let her run home, so I was a bit surprised to see her in front” said Lang. Once Collett found herself in front, she rated Alamer beautifully, comfortably holding out runner up Dukedom and third placegetter Sultan of Swing. Collett was quick to deflect the merit to her mount. “I had no intention of leading but once I found the front she was always travelling nicely and she really fought strongly” said Collett.

The race was dominated by those on the speed with the first three home in or near the lead throughout. It made the run of the fourth placegetter Valley Girl an eye catching effort, coming from All Honours though rest squarely with Alamer, who I’m sure will have earned more respect from punters after this win.

The inform combination of the Baker/ Forsman stable and jockey Opie Bosson started the day off with a win by Castle Bee. Aided by a Bosson special, Castle Bee proved too good for her opposition over 2100m. Castle Bee trailed the leaders throughout before bullocking her way into the clear at the 250m. “She was travelling like a winner throughout and it was just a matter of asking her to go” said Bosson. The race earned Castle Bee valuable points in the Dunstan Championship series and judging by her win she’ll be competitive too.

Another in form stable was in the Winner’s Circle at Ellerslie on Saturday. Roger James has his team firing on all cylinders at the minute and he produced another likely type in Volts. Making just her second race day appearance, Volts cruised to her maiden victory over 1400. Ridden by Vinny Colgan, Volts drew out nicely over the concluding stages to score by one and a half lengths.

Volts was narrowly defeated on debut at Avondale and the four year old mare has been patiently handled. Judging by her win on Saturday, that patience should continue to be rewarded.

Shaune Ritchie produced a promising staying type in Snow Secret to win over 2100m. The lightly raced Sakhee’s Secret mare was recording her third win from just eight starts. After settling at the rear of the field, Snow Secret finished powerfully to score by a long neck. Rider Danielle Johnson played an integral part in the victory with a brilliant ride. “Danielle rode a beautiful race, saving ground on the home turn and the mare responded accordingly” said Ritchie. Snow Secret holds nominations for both the Wellington and Auckland Cups and she looks a promising staying type.

The final local winner at Ellerslie on Saturday was Casillas who beat another local Mabeel in the last race.Casillas out fought a determined Mabeel over 1400m, on a track which by that stage of the day, had deteriorated. Trained by brothers Trevor and Martin Cruz, Casillas appeared to relish the conditions with Sam Spratt aboard. It was the third win from ten starts for the Keeper gelding.

Another big day out for the locals!

I’ll catch you next week