Ryder placing caps double

No Need started the ball rolling for Lee Somervell after a good ride by Viktoria Gatui.

No Need starting the ball rolling for Lee Somervell after a good ride by Viktoria Gatui.

Trainer Lee Somervell picked up a winning double over the weekend, but it was the performance of two-year-old Impulsive Habit in yesterday’s Listed Courtesy Ford Ryder Stakes at Otaki that put the icing on the cake for the Cambridge horseman.

No Need got Somervell’s day off to the best possible start when he blitzed his age-group rivals over 1400 metres at Rotorua before Rich Habit shed maiden status in the third event at Otaki.

Despite a failure by consistent mare Celebrity Miss in the Gr. 3 Taumarunui Cup later in the day at Rotorua, Somervell remained on a high, especially as Impulsive Habit did well to run third behind Manhattan Rain in the Ryder Stakes.

“That was his (Impulsive Habit’s) biggest test to date and he did all we could ask of him and more,” said Somervell. “He is just so immature and is doing it all on just his raw ability at this stage.

“Even though he was well beaten he ran home very strongly after suffering a decent check at the 800-metre mark.

“Once he strengthens up I think he could well develop into a very classy customer.”

Somervell will now tip the gelding into the paddock for three weeks before bringing him back for the Gr. 2 Hawkes Bay Guineas on the last day of the Hawkes Bay Spring Carnival.

Somervell was quick to pay credit to rising apprentice talent Viktoria Gatu after No Need had started the day on a winning note for the stable.

“I thought Viktoria rode a lovely race on our fellow to get that win,” he said. “I asked her to ride him handy and give him a whack at the 600 to try and put the pressure on them. She told me afterwards she didn’t need to do that as he was travelling so sweetly she thought he had the race well under control at that stage.

“He has taken a while to find his feet, but I’ve got him in the right shape now and he is thriving. He will have a couple of quiet days and then we’ll look for a nice race in his grade as he handles the winter tracks like a toff and I don’t think he’s finished winning yet.

“On the other hand Celebrity Miss just found it too tough with topweight on that deep going. She can have a fortnight off before we start to get her ready for the last two days at Hastings.”

Somervell also advised that stable star Addictive Habit would have a further scan on his injured tendon tomorrow, however he was confident the rising seven-year-old was on the road to recovery, although he wouldn’t be seen back at the track until next autumn.

NZ Racing Desk