Ready to achieve more as stayer

Thee Achiever (Sam Spratt) kicking on strongly to win over ground at Ruakaka. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Thee Achiever (Sam Spratt) kicking on strongly to win over ground at Ruakaka. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).


Fred Cornege got the answer he expected when Thee Achiever recorded an all-the-way win in the JAE Northland 2100 at Ruakaka yesterday.

The Cambridge trainer has been biding his time with the four-year-old daughter of O’Reilly, resisting the temptation to step her up in distance until this latest campaign.

“I’ve kept her to 1200, 1400 and 1600 metres because she’s lacked maturity, but she’s always looked like she’ll be best over ground,” said Cornege. “She’s done well earning 11 cheques from her 15 starts. I think she could become a good stayer.”

Thee Achiever was yesterday having her fifth start of her current campaign and Cornege had gradually stepped her up in distance from a fresh-up 1400 metres (for sixth) at Te Rapa to a couple of 1600-metre races (she was third in the first one at Ellerslie) before testing her over ground for the first time at Te Awamutu last week.

Thee Achiever finished runner-up to Gesemi in the 2000-metre event at the Waipa meeting and produced a top performance to master the extra 100 metres yesterday.

Aided by a well-rated front-running ride by Sam Spratt, Thee Achiever fought off all the challengers in the run home to score by a length and a quarter from Endorsement.

“She was a sitting duck so it was a good effort,” said Cornege. “She’s an on-pace runner with a high cruising speed and that’s why I put Sam on. She rode her well.”

Thee Achiever has now won three times and, being from the successful family of the Dennis brothers, of Southland, she was always going to improve with age. “She’s a three-quarter sister to The Jewel,” said Cornege.

Thee Achiever is owned by Janine Dunlop, who has retained 10 per cent in the syndicate which races her, and she gives the impression she will climb through the grades this year.

“If she keeps going well a race like the Taumarunui Cup (in late July) could suit her if she can get in on the minimum,” said Cornege. “She goes in most types of ground, anything but puggy tracks.”