Jem Runner wedding present

Jem Runner (Sam Spratt) ploughing through the mud to win at Avondale.

Jem Runner (Sam Spratt) ploughing through the mud to win at Avondale.

Cambridge trainer Mark Forbes and his wife, Lorraine, received a late wedding present when Jem Runner ploughed through the Avondale mud to win last Friday.

The couple, along with a large contingent of family and friends, travelled to Ireland for their wedding last month and were fortunate to be able to leave their stable in good hands, as shown by groundwork put into Jem Runner to cope with the conditions she faced.

Jem Runner was second-up and looked on target for a win when third fresh-up over 1600 metres on a heavy 11 track at Te Aroha 12 days before the Avondale mission.

Ridden by Sam Spratt, the Duelled mare settled midfield and moved up to be right into contention turning for home. From there she kicked strongly, despite laying out on occasions, and got home by a length and a quarter.

“She loves it,” said Mark Forbes referring to the heavy footing. “The deeper, the better.

“She’s an out-and-out stayer and a one-pacer who will go all day. She should make a nice hurdler later on.”

Jem Runner has won twice from seven starts and been placed on three occasions. Her previous win was on a heavy10 track at Matamata 12 months ago after a debut third on the same track.

“Hopefully there’s more rain around for her,” said Forbes.

Forbes is assembling a team of promising gallopers, including Royal Fashion, a Snitzel two-year-old who has been placed in both her starts. She was third on debut at Te Rapa last March and followed with a close second 16 days later at Trentham behind Luna Rossa, who backed up to win the Gr. 1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes in her next outing.