Perfect Te Rapa day for James stable

While Roger James was in Brisbane chasing Queensland Derby success, his Te Rapa runners were in good hands.

James’ Queensland focus was on Red Shift, who ran a creditable race for seventh behind Brambles in the Group One feature, but it was results from earlier in the day at Te Rapa that had him smiling.

The stable had three starters at the Waikato Racing Club meeting and had a 100 percent strike rate with foreperson Leanne Bertling in charge of the squad.

Le Moussier started the ball rolling when taking the Munn’s The Man’s Store 2100 after a daring ride by Cambridge jockey Jason Waddell. Le Moussier worked to a clear lead approaching the home turn and kept up a strong gallop to win by four and a quarter lengths.

“He likes getting out there and rolling along,” said Bertling. “He was unlucky last time when he was turned sideways through a check early in the run home.”

Le Moussier is a four-year-old by Rock Of Gibraltar from the James-trained Group One winner Foxwood. He has been taken along quietly and has now registered two wins from seven starts.

The win was the 50th for the season for Waddell and the talented horseman didn’t have long to wait for his next win. In fact it came in the very next race, the Red Cabs Maiden 1600, on Le Moussier’s stablemate The Tidy Express.

A daughter of Volksraad, The Tidy Express had been unlucky in her three previous starts, the latest misfortune coming when third at Ruakaka last month when resuming.

“She was the biggest certainty beaten that I’ve ever ridden,” said Waddell. “Anyone who saw that should have been on her today.”

The Tidy Express settled back on the inner and Waddell decided to stick to the inside running rail while the rest of the field headed outwards in search of better ground.

By the time the home turn had been reached The Tidy Express had moved up to challenge for the lead and she scampered along the fence to a clear lead, one which was never in doubt of lessening. She had three and a half lengths on her nearest rival, C’mon, at the finish.

“We weren’t sure how she’d cope with the ground, but she seemed to get through it all right,” said Bertling. “She’s always been a very nice filly and I’m not sure where Roger will go with her now.”

The Tidy Express was among the original entries for this year’s Group I NZ Oaks, but James felt she wasn’t ready for the task and instead put her aside for a spell.

James’ other Te Rapa runner was Holy Moly, who was ridden to victory in the Sensortronic Scales 1600 by Michael Coleman.

It was Holy Moly’s first win in her current campaign, but it came as no surprise after an unlucky leadup fourth on the same track.

She won her debut as a two-year-old on the Te Rapa track and her other win came early this season in the Listed Soliloquy Stakes at Ellerslie, after which she was third to Antonio Lombardo and Anabandana in the Group III James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes at Te Rapa.