Positive ride lands second Group 1 win

A positive approach to the riding tactics in the Group I $200,000 NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes at Te Aroha today credited Cambridge mare Say No More with her second success at the top level.

Say No More became a Group One winner when taking the Harcourt’s Thorndon Mile at Trentham last January and credited trainer Paul Duncan with his fourth Group One success when producing a truly courageous effort to lead home a Cambridge quinella in the country’s major fillies and mares event.

In a desperate finish, Say No More got a bob-of-the-head victory by a nose from Fleur de Lune, who tried valiantly to give trainer Lee Somervell his first Group One win and the biggest NZ success for jockey Jason
Jago.

Say No More rated a big chance in the Breeders’ Stakes on her Thorndon Mile win, but there were some doubters when she was allocated barrier 20.

However, rider Rosie Myers and Duncan, agreed the best approach to the problem was to ride the Pentire mare positively, rather than drop back from the wide draw.

“Paul said we can’t win from the back so the only way was to go forward,” said Myers. “Once we did get across a bit to trail the leader she did get a bit of a breather.”

Say No More was trapped five or six wide in the early stages, but Myers pressed forward down the back straight and had her one-off the fence inside the last 900 metres.

Fleur de Lune kicked strongly for Jago and looked home with 100 metres to go, but Say No More refused to give in, despite all her early work, and the pair staged a battle royale right to the finish.

It was anybody’s guess who had won, but the general consensus was that Fleur de Lune had just hung on and even Myers was resigned to the fact she had been beaten.

“Everybody was riding past and saying well done to Jason so I thought we’d been beaten,” said Myers. “I congratulated him, too, but then when we were coming back I heard we’d won. It’s such a thrill. But full credit to Fleur de Lune, too. She tried so hard.”

Myers has now won three Group One races and they have all been for Duncan, the first being on Midnight Oil in the NZ Oaks at Trentham.

Say No More is now destined to head to Queensland, where she will be part of a contingent Duncan has earmarked to head his mission.

The four-year-old mare has now amassed a record of six wins and three seconds from 11 starts and today’s $125,000 first prize has taken her stake earnings over $300,000.