Win tops off birthday celebration

Cambridge trainer Shelley Hale will never forget the day her son Matthew celebrated his 13th birthday.

It happened today and adding to the excitement for mother and son was a deserved win by Sum Up in the $40,000 DLA Phillips Fox Cornwall Handicap at Ellerslie. Sum Up is trained by Shelley Hale, who is also a co-breeder and part-owner of the Shinko King five-year-old.

Sum Up started second favourite in the Ellerslie feature and recorded his third win for the season, the first two wins being last October and November at Rotorua and Te Awamutu respectively.

After starting the season off in such good fashion it seemed it would be only a matter of time before Sum Up picked up a big race. And two starts after his Te Awamutu win he was a most unlucky second in the Group Two Waikato Times Gold Cup.

A series of setbacks robbed Sum Up starts in the Wellington, Avondale and Auckland Cups and he was again a shade unlucky when second in the Group Three Rotorua Cup last month. But finally it was Sum Up’s turn to land a decent prize and he did so in good fashion at Ellerslie today.

“He deserved to win a good race,” said Hale. “The feet problems he had cost him a lot and it’s only that the weather has stayed all right that I have kept him going this bit longer. I was going to put him out after the Rotorua Cup, but he came through it so well.”

Sum Up was ridden in the Rotorua Cup by Rogan Norvall and the Cambridge hoop was again in the saddle today. Norvall settled Sum Up back of midfield and though the horse was trapped wide he wasn’t concerned.

Coming to the home straight Sum Up had worked closer and when asked for a final effort he responded well to hit the front and hold on to score by a length and a half from Old Drumble with Waipukurau visitor Intransigent running on late for third after being very slow away.

“I was a bit worried about the track being a bit holding, but he got through it well,” said Norvall. “He sprinted home quick off a slow pace.”

Hale says she will be dictated by the weather as to the immediate future of Sum Up. “If the tracks stay all right he could get through to the Kiwifruit Cup at Tauranga and he’ll then go out. He won’t be out for long.”

Hale is keen to have another crack at the Waikato Times Gold Cup with Sum Up, who has now recorded six wins and earned over $130,000 in prizemoney.