Redeem Code and Mabeel shine at Ellerslie

Redeem Code (Matt Cameron) earning a trip to Awapuni with a strong Ellerslie win. (Photo: Trish Dunell/ NZ Racing Desk).

Redeem Code (Matt Cameron) scoring a strong Ellerslie win. (Photo: Trish Dunell/ NZ Racing Desk).

 

Under-rated Cambridge three-year-old Redeem Code earned himself a trip to Awapuni next month for a black-type mission when scoring a determined win at Ellerslie today.

The son of Nadeem was overshadowed by several of the opposition in the pre-race discussions and allowed to start at odds of almost 10/1 in the Lindsay Mile. But he burst out of that shadow with a strong win when working to the front and refusing to give in over the final stages.

Despite a solid late bid by the favourite Stolen Dance, Redeem Code had the race in safe keeping when scoring by a length and a quarter in the hands of Matt Cameron.

“It was a rise in class today but this horse just keeps stepping up and getting better and better,” said Alison Ritchie, representing her husband, trainer Shaune Ritchie.

Redeem Code, who was having just his third start, had shown promise at trials with a win and three placings before finishing fourth on debut at Matamata over 1200 metres then winning comfortably when stepped up to 1400 metres at Tauranga earlier this month.

Ritchie now plans to step him up further with a tilt at the Gr. 3 $70,000 Manawatu Classic (2000m) at Awapuni on March 28. And Cameron believes the staying test is well within Redeem Code’s range.

“The 2000 metres should be no problem for him whatsover,” said Cameron.

Redeem Code, a $120,000 purchase at the 2013 National Yearling Sale at Karaka, is raced in partnership by Ken Lau, who has also been enjoying success with the Stephen Marsh-trained Rocanto, a leading candidate for next Saturday’s Gr. 1 Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie.

Two races after Redeem Code’s win, Cambridge was again celebrating a win, via the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young-trained Mabeel in the $40,000 Barfoot & Thompson 1200.

Mabeel cleared maiden ranks on debut at Thames then finished an unlucky second behind Arpeggio at Ellerslie before losing all chance on the same track earlier this month after stumbling out of the gates and Bosson losing his stirrup iron.

“I had no option but to kick my foot out of the other iron and just ride the race without irons,” said Bosson. “It was a race which we just had to forget.”

Today Bosson worked Mabeel to the front and rated him nicely, keeping him going strongly over the final stages when the challenges came from Wealth Prince, Hunapo and finally the fast-finishing Increditable Hulk, who wound up second. The winning margin was three-quarters of a length.

“He’s got a lot to learn,” said Bosson. “He was reefing and pulling during the race but he stuck to his guns well.

“He laid out a bit around the turn and I changed my stick over and straightened him up.”

Young admits she was a bit worried watching Mabeel approaching to the home turn.

“We’ve got to iron out a few creases with him and we’ll just work him up through the grades,” she said.

Like Redeem Code, Mabeel is also Asian-owned, with Deborah Ho, of Macau, racing the four-year-old son of Savabeel.