From the Commentary Box – Monday, 31st March 2014

Promising filly Lady Cumquat stole the show at Awapuni last Saturday.

The Roger James trained filly capped off some consistent recent efforts with a dominant win in the Group Three Manawatu Classic over 2000m.

Lady Cumquat, a lightly raced daughter of Duke of Marmalade, was aided by a gun ride from in form apprentice, Rory Hutchings.

After settling behind midfield on the rails, Hutchings was content to bide his time on the race favourite, until the home turn.

“She was travelling well enough and I could see the gaps were appearing near the rail so I just stayed there to save ground” said Hutchings.

After turning into the straight, Lady Cumquat angled for a run, one off the fence to make her challenge.

Another local Mountain Jack, trained by Robyn and Russell Rogers, looked the likely winner at that stage for rider Mark Hills.

However, Lady Cumquat dashed through along the inside, eventually drawing clear to win by two lengths.

Mountain Jack, fresh from a maiden victory at Te Teko, held second clearly from Iffwedance.

Lady Cumquat was registering her second win from just seven starts and took her stake earnings to $60,000.

She is a lovely staying type with a bright future.

It was a relatively quiet day for the locals at Awapuni on Saturday.

Apart from the quinella in the Manawatu Classic, there were just two minor placings from Neo and Military Move to show.

Neo, trained by the Baker -Forsman team, battled on for a fresh up third in the Flying Handicap over 1400m.

The former Wellington Guineas winner showed he should be competitive in his upcoming campaign.

The former NZ Derby winner Military Move, gave a great sight when finishing second to Soriano in the Group Two Awapuni Gold Cup.

The Shaune Ritchie trained gelding looked the likely winner at the 250m when scooting to the lead.

However, a strong finishing burst from Soriano, ridden by Noel Harris, saw Military Move finish a meritorious second.

Trainer Ritchie was pleased with the effort.

“He had to give the winner 2.5kgs and she’s a very under rated mare, so its been a great effort from him” said Ritchie.

The ever present danger for jockeys was again highlighted at the weekend.

Local rider Trudy Thornton was injured after been dislodged from her mount Table One, in the first race at Ellerslie last Saturday.

The popular rider was taken to hospital with suspected pelvic injuries.

Anyone who knows her will tell you how tough Thornton is.

Just a few seasons ago, Thornton was involved in a near fatal fall also at Ellerslie.

Her mount on that occasion, fell and Thornton somehow ended up trapped, unconscious, underneath her horse.

The quick reactions of the starting gate attendants who raced to her aid that day and managed to extricate Thornton from underneath her horse, probably saved her life.

Yet remarkably, Thornton discharged herself from hospital that night.

However, last weekend’s fall and the injuries she sustained necessitated a stay in hospital.

Thornton is a vastly experienced horsewoman and one of the most competitive riders in the country.

She is renown for her no nonsense, tough as teak persona.

I’m sure everyone wishes her a speedy recovery and to see her back riding again soon.

And just a friendly word of advice to the medical staff in charge of Thornton’s treatment.

For your own safety…… don’t mess it up !!

Catch you next week .