Better luck for James at Tauranga

Cambridge trainer Roger James had no joy with Miss Foxwood in the Gr. 1 NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas at Riccarton yesterday, but wins by Lady Cumquat and Hot In Pink at Tauranga put a smile on his face.

Miss Foxwood was rated one of the biggest threats to the favourite Bounding in the 1000 Guineas after her solid-finishing third to the Matamata filly in the Gr. 3 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes at Te Rapa, but she had to settle for fourth in yesterday’s classic, four and three-quarters of a length behind the winner Costa Viva, while Bounding was a courageous second.

Meanwhile up at Tauranga Lady Cumquat started the day off well for the James stable when fighting best for rider Rory Hutchings to beat Villars by a head in the Mills Reef Winery & Restaurant 1600. Another Cambridge filly, the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Show The World, was third, five lengths astern.

Lady Cumquat, an Australian-bred daughter of Duke Of Marmalade, deserved her win after a second, a third and a fifth in her previous three starts. She seemed suited by the step up from 1400 to 1600 metres and there is no reason she will not develop into a good staying prospect.

“She won it well and should go on with it,” said rider Rory Hutchings.

Lady Cumquat is raced by a trio of Australians, including Phil Newsom, who bred the filly from his Zabeel mare Imposingly. Trained in Victoria by David Hayes, Imposingly raced just five times but did manage to win a race, over 1950 metres at Gawler in South Australia.

One of Newsom’s partners in racing both Imposingly and Lady Cumquat is Mac Whitehouse and it was the same combination which enjoyed thrills with Gold City from the Matamata stable of Ray and Sharon Johnson.

Gold City won eight races including the Listed Matriarch Stakes at Flemington and the Gr. 3 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, as well as the Listed Windsor Park Stud Stakes at Te Awamutu.

However, Gold City’s biggest claim to fame was the day she almost brought about the downfall of the champion Octagonal in the 1997 Gr. 1 Australian Cup at Flemington. She pushed the hot favourite to a half-head in the weight-for-age race.

Gold City’s last day as a racemare was initially a joyous one then one of the saddest occasions in the lives of the Johnsons and her owners. She won the 1999 Waikato Stud Stakes on Breeders’ Stakes day at Matamata and a few hours later she haemorrhaged and died back in her nearby stables.

Newsom and Whitehouse have raced many other winners since the Gold City days and they could have an Oaks prospect in Lady Cumquat.

Three races after Lady Cumquat’s win, the James stable was saluting Hot In Pink, who was ridden to victory by visiting Wanganui jockey Jonathan Parkes. The Lonhro four-year-old mare won the Pacific Coast Technical Institute 1200 by a half-length from Pacific Choice.

In covering the 1200 metres in 1:9.63 and the final 600 in 34 seconds, Hot In Pink showed a glimpse of the talent of her sprinting mother Ticklish, who won nine races and proved a smart sprinter on both sides of the Tasman.

Ticklish was bought as a yearling by NZ Racing Hall Of Fame trainer Brian Anderton and was originally trained by him and his son, Shane, to win eight times and gain 12 placings. Her best win for the Andertons came in the 2006 Listed Pegasus Stakes at Riccarton.

Ticklish remained in the north with former Byerley Park trainer Steve Pinfold after finishing unplaced in the 2007 Gr. 1 Railway Handicap at Ellerslie and Pinfold took her to Australia, where she was a fresh-up third to Miss Andretti in the Gr. 1 Coolmore Lightning Stakes at Moonee Valley then later in the year won over the same course and distance.

Hot In Pink began her career in Pinfold’s stable and showed some promise with three placings from six starts, including a close second at Thames last January.

She joined James’ stable a few months ago and won fresh-up over 1000 metres at Taupo on October 9 then finished second to Beauty Show at Te Rapa before yesterday’s win. That Te Rapa placing looked even better when Beauty Show won again in Rating 85 company two races later on the Tauranga programme.