Promise to Sellwood kept

James McDonald kept his promise to Cambridge trainer Don Sellwood at Matamata yesterday.

The top rider and Sellwood combined to win the first leg of Pick Six, the Matamata Veterinary Services 1200, with Petty Cury and also the final leg, the Oxford Thoroughbreds 1600, with King’s Fortune. It was the latter over which the promise was made.

McDonald and Sellwood watched King’s Fortune’s previous race, at Rotorua, together and after the event McDonald offered to ride the horse next start. “James asked if he could ride him and that he’d win on him,” recalled Sellwood.

McDonald certainly lived up to his promise as he guided the King’s Chapel three-year-old to a runaway win, scoring by three and a half lengths from Shez Kapable.

“If he doesn’t win today he’ll never win a race,” was the comment made by Sellwood as he watched King’s Fortune go down to the start. “He’s a pretty handy type and has been a bit unlucky not to win one before now.”

King’s Fortune had been placed in three of his six starts, including a third to the exciting and unbeaten Xanadu at Matamata on October 28. He had finished sixth in his Rotorua leadup.

Sellwood holds a high opinion of Petty Cury, an Australian-bred daughter of Not A Single Doubt. The three-year-old had been unbeaten in two trials before a promising debut effort when second to Brokash at Te Rapa on November 20.

Yesterday Petty Cury drew out but McDonald worked her across to be in a good spot behind the leaders and when he asked her for an effort she responded well to win by a length and a quarter from Veronica Hall.

Cambridge trainer Chris Wood chimed in with a winner in the second-last leg of Pick Six, the Stihul Shop Matamata 2000. His winner was Guns At Five, who was ridden by Mark Hills.

Guns At Five had won three starts earlier at Gisborne and proved too strong for Savabeel Star over the final stages.