Ritchie playing waiting game with Twilight Offer

Twilight Offer (Danielle Johnson) unleashing her big run down the outside at Te Rapa today. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Twilight Offer (Danielle Johnson) unleashing her big run down the outside at Te Rapa today. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie isn’t about to chance his luck with Twilight Offer again this season.

Despite a narrow but determined win by Twilight Offer in the Taumarunui Racing Club 2100 at Te Rapa today, Ritchie has opted to put the Darci Brahma filly aside and set her for bigger targets next campaign.

“I don’t think she’s really a heavy track horse,” said Ritchie, referring to the Slow8 footing. “I’ll give her a bit of a break now and maybe she could be a Dunstan Final-type horse come Christmas.”

The Dunstan Feeds Stayers Championship is a series culminating with the final over the Christmas- New Year meeting at Ellerslie. It is a series which has uncovered some smart stayers and Twilight Offer looks to have the makings of a good moneyspinner over ground.

The three-year-old filly is a daughter of Genuine Offer, who developed into a smart stayer from the Logan stable at Ruakaka.

Genuine Offer won five races, including a hat trick over 2400 metres at Ellerslie, and was fourth in both the Counties and Waikato Times Gold Cups and a last-start second in the 2009 Auckland Cup Prelude, in which the third placegetter was dual Auckland Cup winner Prize Lady.

Bred by IDL Racing Ltd and raced by the Galaxy Racing No. 2 Syndicate, Twilight Offer made her raceday debut last November when fourth over 1400 metres at Te Awamutu and two starts later she finished second at Te Aroha over the same trip.

In her first start at 2000 metres she broke through for her maiden win, scoring by four lengths at Dargaville on April 17, and she followed with a second over 2100 at Ruakaka month later leading into today’s race.

“She’s kept improving,” said Ritchie. “She had a bit of an attitude in the past and kept on improving on that side of things as well. She’s certainly on the way up.

“There’s not a lot of her and I thought with the 57 and a half kilos, she’s paying a bit for her consistency but she’s overcome that.”

Twilight Offer started favourite in today’s rating 65 2100-metre event and she had a bit to overcome to take the honours.

She was forced wide when improving on the outside of Coolibah rounding the home turn and it spoke volumes for her stamina the way she knuckled down for rider Danielle Johnson to grab victory over fellow Cambridge galloper Single Shot.

“We got flung wide around the corner,” said Johnson. “It would have been a bad ride if we didn’t win.”

The Cambridge centre also tasted success in the final event when Kentucky Son won for rider Ulrika Holmquist and trainer Lee Somervell, while the country’s leading trainers, Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, had a frustrating run of three seconds in a row on the Te Rapa programme.

Down south at the Trentham meeting Cambridge jumps jockey Aaron Kuru was the fore when successful on Bally Heights in the Grant Plumbing Steeplechase.