Another highlight for Jago

Cambridge rider Jason Jago was quick to rate Fleur de Lune’s win in yesterday’s Group III Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa right up alongside his career highlights as a jockey.

In his homeland of South Africa Jago was no stranger to big race success, having recorded four Group One wins and numerous Group Two and Three winning performances.  And since he and his family shifted to New Zealand almost five years ago he has added another three stakes wins to his tally, all via Cambridge-trained horses.

Jago’s first stakes win in New Zealand came aboard the Murray and Bjorn Baker-trained Alagant Satin in the Group III Ezibuy Eulogy Stakes at Awapuni in December 2008. Later that month the pair combined for a win in the Group II Eight Carat Classic at Ellerslie.

Though Jago has had a list of stakes placings on Fleur de Lune, including Group One efforts, it wasn’t until yesterday the pair combined to break through for stakes success in the Te Rapa weight-for-age event.

“I’ve got a soft spot for her and it’s great to win a good race on her,” said Jago, who was quick to pay credit to the trainer, Lee Somervell. “She’s not the biggest around, but she’s got a big heart.”

Jago rode the perfect race on Fleur de Lune, giving her a nice trip in the trail and putting her into the event at the right time. “We had a nice cover and when I switched the button the response was there,” said Jago. “I was confident a long way out.”

Fleur de Lune turned the tables on Fritzy Boy, who defeated her in last year’s Foxbridge Plate, and she did it in the manner of a mare who will be hard to beat in her next outing, the Group I Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings.

“She’ll improve a lot from this race,” said Jago. “And I think she’ll go further this season. She tries so hard.”

Fleur de Lune was having her first start since finishing third to Oak Park in the Listed Windsor Park Stud Rotorua Stakes last May. That performance followed two Group One placings.