Marsh and Johnson dominate at Ellerslie

Ruud Not Too (Danielle Johnson) proving too strong in the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile today.

Ruud Not Too (Danielle Johnson) proving too strong in the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile today.

A top ride by Danielle Johnson paved the way for progressive mare Ruud Not Too to score her biggest win in the Gr. 2 Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie today.

The victory capped a notable double for the four-year-old mare after taking the inaugural running of the Dunstan Feeds Rising Stars Championship Final at the venue just six days earlier. It was also the third victory on the day for both Johnson and trainer Stephen Marsh along with a second stakes victory for Albert Bosma’s Go Racing syndicates.

Johnson and Marsh had combined to win the second event with Rube Bridges and the Gr.2 Stella Artois Royal Stakes with She Brings Joy, while Bosma’s Go Racing Fright Night Syndicate was successful in the Gr.3 Barneswood Farm Eclipse Stakes with the Stephen McKee-trained Hasahalo.

In a race run at the expected torrid pace, Johnson used her good barrier draw to have Ruud Not Too tucked away on the fence throughout the early stages. She began to get serious as the field approached the home bend and shot the mare through along the inner as pacemaker Matimba wobbled away from the rail early in the home straight.

As she did six days earlier, Ruud Not Too established a winning break which her rivals couldn’t peg back and she went to the line a half-length ahead of the fast finishing All Roads with Girl Of My Dreams clinging gamely to third.

Part-owner Ian Hogan was one of the members of the mare’s Go Racing Ruud Not Too syndicate on track to witness the victory.

Hogan, who had begun his association with Go Racing through a share in Listed Karaka Million and Gr.1 Diamond Stakes winner Ruud Awakening, was quick to pay tribute to Albert Bosma and his team after the race.

“She’s another good Bernardini, following on from Ruud Awakening, and we’re just having so much fun with her,” he said. “It’s such a professional organisation and we’ve had some great times with them.”

Bosma, who started the day on a high through the Group Three win of Hasahalo, was thrilled with the performance.

“It’s a massive thrill on a big day and just a special feeling,” he said. “It’s also a special effort from Stephen Marsh to back her up just six days after winning on Boxing Day and do the double. The owners have a very valuable mare now.”

Bosma said Ruud Not Too would now be set for the Gr. 1 Harcourts Thorndon Mile at Trentham on January 28 with a possible attempt at the Gr. 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa the following month also to be considered.

NZ Racing Desk