Oliveira shocks punters at Te Aroha

My Alegria (Ulrika Holmquist) cruising to the finish with her ears pricked. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

My Alegria (Ulrika Holmquist) cruising to the finish with her ears pricked. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).


Cambridge trainer Alex Oliveira has gone from pleasing punters to shocking them with his two recent winners.

Oliveira was the punters’ pal when he produced Arezzo to record a debut win at Te Rapa last month when paying $4.80, but it was a completely different story at Te Aroha today when his three-year-old filly My Alegria ploughed through the heavy ground to win a maiden 1400-metre event at odds of almost 40/1.

My Alegria has been unplaced in two trials, but the daughter of Keeper appreciated the wet going to clear out for a four-length win over another Cambridge filly, the Stephen Marsh-trained Not Iffraid.

My Alegria was ridden by Cambridge apprentice Ulrika Holmquist, who had also been aboard the filly in her first trial, when unplaced at Te Teko last September. Holmquist had expected an improved showing but was pleasantly surprised by the win.

Cambridge was represented by two other winners on today’s programme with Hamacho taking the Tru-Test Group 1400 and Diamond Thorn successful in the Super Liquor Te Aroha 2200.

A five-year-old son of Red Ransom, Hamacho is prepared by Roger James and was ridden by Vinnie Colgan. He had indicated a win was near when second to Rocknrolla at Tauranga earlier this month and that form stacked up well later in the programme when Rocknrolla, from Donna Logan’s stable, scored another win.

The Shaune Ritchie-trained Diamond Thorn came with a determined bid down the outside to win in the hands of Danielle Johnson. It was her second win from 16 starts and followed some useful recent efforts.