From the Commentary Box – Monday, 13 January 2014

Cambridge stayer Guns at Five shot into Wellington Cup calculations at Awapuni last Saturday

The Chris Wood trained stayer overwhelmed his opposition to easily win the traditional final lead up to the Wellington Cup, the Marton Cup.

Ridden by Trudy Thornton, Guns At Five scored a comfortable two length victory in the 2200m Listed event.

Sent out favourite by punters, Guns At Five was always beautifully place in the running, settling fourth, one off the rail, for the majority of the race.

According to Thornton the victory was never in doubt.

“He’s right at the top of his game and he was never going to get beaten” said Thornton.

Trainer Chris Wood was always confident of success.

“His work since the Waikato Cup has been super, and even under the 59kgs, I thought he’d win” said Wood.

The Marton Cup was a target race for Guns At Five.

“This was a penalty free race for the Wellington Cup so he can’t be rehandicapped for this win, which works out perfectly” explained Wood.

Guns At Five, in his present form, will be a live chance in the Wellington Cup in two weeks time.


Also successful at Awapuni was Flying Orca, for in form trainer Gary Alton.

In case you’ve been holidaying on Mars recently, Alton’s team has been firing on all cylinders over the busy Christmas – New Year period.

Highlighting the run of success was the Group One win of Historian in the Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.

Flying Orca however was notching her second win from just 8 starts, when winning over 2100m on Saturday.

Given a lovely run in transit by jockey Kelly Myers, Flying Orca’s win was redemption for a narrow last start defeat at Ellerslie.

“She was beaten by a brilliant James McDonald ride last start and we were pretty confident she would win today” said Alton.

Flying Orca can be followed with confidence in her next few starts.


At Ellerslie, Cambridge stables were to the fore once again with four winners on the nine race card.

The Shaune Ritchie team produced two winners who are both destined for major missions.

Two year old Way In got the photo finish decision to force her way into the Karaka Million at Ellerslie.

Stablemate Glorious Lad again showed his class when winning over 1600m.

Ritchie was understandably delighted with the double.

“Way In will be my first Karaka Million runner so I’m looking forward to that and Glorious Lad is on target for the Derby in March” said Ritchie.

Glorious Lad looks a likely Derby type according to his regular race day rider Mark Du Plessis.

“He’s improving all the time physically and mentally and today he relaxed nicely” said Du Plessis.

“The secret to this horse is to give him cover and if you can he’ll relax which is what you want in a Derby prospect” added Du Plessis. 

Also successful at Ellerslie were Elusive Gold and All’s Fair.

Elusive Gold is prepared by the Baker – Forsman team while All’s Fair scored for Anne Herbert and Michael Roustoby.

Elusive Gold prevailed in a close finish over race favourite Queen’s Rose, while All’s Fair was notching his second win from three race day appearances.

I’ll catch you next week.