Veyron Does It Again

Things don’t always go to script in this game.

Last Saturday’s Waikato Draught Sprint at Te Rapa was hyped as a clash between Mufhasa and Guiseppina.

Mufhasa was shooting for his third win in the Group One event and his ninth win at the elite level.

Guiseppina was a brilliant last start winner of the Telegraph Handicap at Trentham.

Their much anticipated clash was eagerly anticipated by racing fans.

However, somebody forgot to tell Cambridge galloper Veyron.

Last year’s Easter Handicap winner blew his opposition away to record his second Group One win.

Veyron breezed past a very game Mufhasa to score by three quarters of a length.

Fazzle was third followed home by a slightly disappointing Guiseppina. 

Trained by Linda Laing, Veyron bided his time just behind midfield before rider Leith Innes set him alight at the 250m.

“We got a beautiful run following Mufhasa and I was pretty confident turning for home” said Innes.

The two favourites, Mufhasa and Veyron were the recipients of some wretched luck during the race.

Mufhasa sat three wide the trip, while Guiseppina never looked likely after a tardy start.

At this level that is enough to get even the very best beaten.

That is racing though and to be fair, Veyron was pretty dominant in the end.

Trainer Linda Laing was understandably delighted with the win.

“He’s such a good horse who never runs a bad race ” said Laing.

Laing was also quick to point out the help she has received in the lead up to Saturday’s race.

“When Rogan Norvall got injured other local riders like Lynsey Satherley, Mark Hills and Jamie Gillies have helped out which has been much appreciated” said Laing.

Norvall of course was Veyron’s regular race day rider until injured in a trial accident several weeks ago.

Norvall was a keen observer watching his favourite horse prevail in the Waikato Draught Sprint.

“Sure I would have loved to have been on him, but that was a great thrill to see him beat that field” said Norvall.

Raced by his breeders Alaistair and Isobel Barker, Veyron further embellished his already wonderful record.

The imposing son of Thorn Park has now won 11 of his 18 starts amassing $446,000 in stakes.

Well done Jethro!



Another of the feature races at Te Rapa was won by a Cambridge galloper.

Local filly Zurella scored a tough win in the Group Two Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies Classic.

Trained by Shaune Ritchie, Zurella made amends for a below par effort at her last start at Ellerslie.

“She can get a little worked up before her races and she certainly did that at Ellerslie last time” said Ritchie.

“She had basically run her race before she’d even got to the start that day, so we changed a few things around” said Ritchie.

A quiet trial and an exhibition gallop at Te Rapa the previous week were part of the plan.

“Plus I’ve rung vets and even some old trainers trying to see what we could do to help her relax” he said.

The plan worked because Zurella beat a game Capital Diamond with Quintessential and Planet Rock close up.

Zurella was ridden by James McDonald who also scored aboard She’s Sinsational in the Group One Darci Brahma Stakes.

Owned by the Oaks Stud, plans for Zurella could include a tilt at the Telecom NZ Derby at Ellerslie next month.

Judging by her win last Saturday, she would definitely be a chance in it too.


Finally, congratulations to Jeff McVean and Emma – Lee Browne who saddled up impressive two year old winner Rollout The Carpet.

Having just her third race day start, Rollout The Carpet scored by nearly three lengths over 1200m.

The dominance of the win suggests she is a filly with a promising future.

“She’s done that pretty easily and I certainly think she’ll go further” said rider Matt Cameron.


I’ll catch you next week.