Sakhee Soldier’s owners in form

Inastride (Matt Cameron) scoring at 14/1 at Te Aroha today. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Inastride (Matt Cameron) scoring at 14/1 at Te Aroha today. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Sakhee’s Soldier’s band of owners were in a winning mood at Te Aroha today while eagerly awaiting the return to the racetrack of their Group One star at Ellerslie on Saturday.

The Sakhee’s Soldier syndicate, headed by Alisdair Chisholm, are also owners of Inastride, a stablemate to Sakhee’s Soldier in Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman’s barn who broke through for his first win in the Nottingham Castle Hotel 2200, the first event today.

Also a son of The Oaks-based sire Sakhee’s Secret, Instride was having just his second start after showing no finish on debut at Avondale a week earlier over 1600 metres. He had previously had eight trials with the best results being a third and two fourths.

“He had been disappointing, in his trials, his first start and in his work, and we weren’t expecting much today,” said Forsman. ”This could have been it for him, but he has come out and won.

“The nice, big straight probably helped him and the extra distance.”

Ridden by Matt Cameron, Instride kicked on strongly to beat runner-up Ametrine by two and a half lengths with a length and a half to the Stephen Marsh-trained third placegetter Margin Call.

“He’s raced by the same syndicate as Sakhee’s Soldier as well as two new ones,” said Forsman.

Forsman reports Sakhee’s Soldier is on track to resume in the Pandoro Panetteria 1400, in which he will be ridden by Craig Grylls.

Sakhee’s Soldier sailed through the grades last season, culminating in his win in the Gr. 1 Ronald McDonald House Charities NZ Stakes (wfa 2000m) at Ellerslie last March. He then underwent an operation to have a bone chip removed.

He has been given two trials in readiness for Saturday’s race. He finished fourth to Statham at Avondale on September 29 then third to Illuminati at Te Awamutu eight days ago.

“He’s coming up well and is likely to have this one then run in the weight-for-age 1600 at Tauranga then go into the (Gr. 1 Captain Cook Stakes),” said Forsman.

Sakhee’s Soldier will carry the clear topweight of 61.5kg on Saturday, 5kg more than the next weighted pair Just The Tip and King Krovanh.

The Baker-Forsman stable was also to the fore three races later today when Coldplay scored a second-up win in the Mainfreight 1400.

Bred by Waikato Stud and raced by Garry Chittick and Gary Wallace, Coldplay had looked very promising when third on debut behind Slice Of Cake at Taupo.

“She looks pretty smart,” said Forsman. “She’ll probably be aimed at the Eight Carat (Classic) at Christmas time.”