Honey Rider shows her class

Honey Rider (Michael Coleman) getting the first of three wins at Te Rapa today for Cambridge stables.

Honey Rider (Michael Coleman) getting the first of three wins at Te Rapa today for Cambridge stables.

Honey Rider stood out as the class runner in the first event at Te Rapa today and she lived right up to expectations with a soft win.

As if her win in the Gr.3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders Gold Trial Stakes last September wasn’t enough to see her start favourite in the Speedwall NZ Ltd 1200, she also boosted punters’ confidence with an eye-catching trials performance when third behind the Group One stars Turn Me Loose and Xtravagant at the recent Cambridge trials.

Punters backed her into $1.80 on the tote in the five-horse field and at no stage had any cause for concern as rider Michael Coleman gave her the easiest of runs.

Coleman had her tracking the leaders in third position and eased her out on the home turn to issue her challenge soon after. She collared Parker’s Piece with 150 metres to run and cruised to the finish two and a half lengths clear.

The Tony Pike-trained Parker’s Piece, who had dwelt at the start, did well to hold on for second with Taranaki visitor Catwomandu third.

“She’s got a bit of class and had only 54 kilos on her back and the way she trialed last week behind Turn Me Loose and Xtravagant we thought she would be hard to beat,” said Coleman. “It was pretty easy.”

A daughter of Pins, Honey Rider has now won three times and been runner-up on one occasion from six starts. Her only unplaced runs where in her two starts after her Gold Trail Stakes victory when eighth in the Gr.3 Rich Hill Stud Taranaki Breeders Stakes and second-last in the Gr.2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes.

“Those few runs on hard tracks tripped her up,” said co-trainer Andrew Forsman. “She does go better fresh and we were pretty confident going into today after her really good trial.

“We’re still trying to figure her out and what he go is, whether she’s best kept fresh as a sprinter or whether she will get a mile, we’re not sure.

“Obviously she’s a Group Three winner already so we’ll head to more black-type options with her.”