From the Commentary Box – Monday, 9 June 2014

Cambridge trained horses had a good day at Te Rapa last Saturday.


The locals managed to win half of the eight race programme.

Leading the charge with a double was Roger James.

James prepared both Enjay and Clara Jane for comfortable victories in their respective engagements.

Enjay capped off some consistent recent form with a well deserved victory over 2100m.

Ridden by Opie Bosson, Enjay was patiently ridden before being unleashed with 300m to go.

“She travelled like a winner throughout and it was just a matter of asking her to go” said Bosson later.

Bosson rode her to a close second last start at Ruakaka and deliberately waited for as long as he could at Te Rapa.

“I may have gone a little early on her last start” he said.

James’ other winner was Clara Jane who fought doggedly for a head bobbing victory over 1600m.

With in form hoop Michael Coleman aboard, Clara Jane managed to overhaul the pacemaking Freedom in the last couple of bounds.

“I always thought I’d win but gee that other horse fought hard” said Coleman.

Appreciating the much improved track conditions, Clara Jane and Freedom staged a titanic struggle over the last 150m with a nose separating them at the finish.

It was the third win of her career for Clara Jane and she should continue to race well.


One of the bravest performances of the day came courtesy of the Barry Cook trained two year old, Buffalo Boy.

Ridden by apprentice Ulrika Holmquist, Buffalo Boy overcame a wide trip in transit to win over 1200m.

After settling near the rear, Buffalo Boy looped the field and swept up to the leaders with 300m to go.

Just when most were expecting Buffalo Boy to fade, the Buffalo Man gelding dug deep to hold out the race favourite She’s Flawless comfortably.

It was a very game performance, one which defied his last start performance at Wanganui where he ran last.

It was nice to see trainer Barry Cook in the winner’s stall again at Te Rapa.

Cook trained for a number of years at Paeroa with a fair degree of success.

His recent return to training, now in Cambridge, is a welcome boost to the local trainer’s ranks.


The other local winner at Te Rapa was the Chris Wood trained Empathy.

In an all Cambridge affair, Empathy held off The Show trained by Gary Alton and Hillsborough (Finbar Leahy).

Empathy broke through for his maiden victory at his tenth start and there was a lot to like about the win too.

He dug deep to grab The Show short of the line .

Empathy’s win was a milestone for rider Rory Hutchings.

It was his 100th win for the season and a fine reward for the promising young jockey.


Finally I do feel some sympathy for Cambridge trainer Ralph Manning.

The enquiry into post race comments made by Manning on Trackside at Ellerslie recently concerning the NZ Handicapper was concluded last Saturday.

Manning, who subsequently expressed remorse over the comments, was fined several thousand dollars over his claims that the NZ Handicapper was “corrupt”.

It was obvious Manning disagreed with the Handicapper and he was clearly frustrated with him.

That discontent had been brewing for some time now too.

If he had used any other word except “corrupt” I wonder if he would have been fined and hung out to dry like he has?


I’ll catch you next week.