Aspinal helps Innes to milestone

Cambridge mare Aspinal put jockey Leith Innes on the path to a notable achievement at Rotorua yesterday.

Innes guided the daughter of Pins to a strong-finishing win over Demophon and Veyron in the Listed $50,000 Lion Red Plate and that was the start of a treble of wins at the meeting. He then won the next race on Calgacus and completed the treble aboard the tough Waiuku galloper Noble Warrior in the other feature of the day, the Listed $50,000 Agrodome Rotorua Plate.

The three successes saw Innes become the 24th jockey to win 1000 races in New Zealand and he was pleasantly surprised to reach the memorable milestone on Noble Warrior.

After notching the first two wins on the day he thought he might have to wait until Te Rapa tomorrow to get his 1000th win and he believed it could come on Aspinal’s unbeaten stablemate Sacred Falls in the James and Annie Sarten Memorial. Sacred Falls credited Innes with his 100th black type success when taking the Listed Westbury Stud Challenge Stakes at Ruakaka last July.

Trainers Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue were thrilled to finally win a stakes race with Aspinal yesterday and in a way you could say it was another stakes winner for Zabeel. Though Aspinal is a daughter of Pins she is in foal to the champion sire at Cambridge Stud.

“This stakes win has been a long time coming and she really deserves it,” said Pike. “It’s great too for her owners, Little Avondale Stud.”

Pike says Aspinal will now head south to Riccarton for either the Group III $100,000 LIndauer Stewards Stakes on November 14 or the Listed $55,000 Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders Stakes, a fillies and mares 1400 metres on the same day.

“She’ll be better off in the weights in the Breeders Stakes, but then again the Stewards in worth $100,000,” said Pike. “We’ll just wait and see how things work out.”