Promising mare Hinerangi added another stakes victory to the record haul of trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman when she took out the Listed James Bull Rangitikei Gold Cup (1600m) at Awapuni on Saturday.
Raced in the colours of her breeder Christopher Grace, who owns the Fastnet Rock mare with wife Susanna, Hinerangi dominated the contest from outside the pace set up by local runner Prosecco.
Placed under pressure when the well fancied Red Sierra swooped to the lead on the point of the home corner, rider Robbie Hannam didn’t panic as he balanced his charge up before asking for a serious effort in the final 200m. Hinerangi never flinched as she gained the upper-hand close to the post to score a valuable first win at black-type level at her 20th career start.
Having his first ride aboard the five-year-old mare, Hannam was delighted with the result as he joked about the imposing physical presence of his mount.
“She’s a monster isn’t she,” he said.
“She races on pace and grinds really good and she only had 53kg on her back today.
“What I didn’t want to do was sit and sprint as I wanted to make it more of a staying mile.
“That’s what happened as there was only two of us in it at the end and she just out-toughed the other horse.”
Grace was also full of smiles with the victory in a major race at his home track.
“It’s a wonderful thrill to win a race on your home track,” he said
“And to be lucky enough to win our neighbours sponsored race, as the Bull family have done a wonderful job over the years and put a lot into it (racing).
“The mare will be going out (for a spell) now, she’s got a bit of black-type and that’s what we want.”
Hinerangi is the daughter of Elusive City mare, Hinemoa who win four races in a limited career including the Listed Ag and Turf Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa. She hails from an extended family that includes Gr.2 Wellington Cup (3200m) winner Graphic and brilliant sprinter Morar who took out the 1992 Gr.1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m).
The victory was the 24th New Zealand Group or Listed win for trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman this season, with the pair leading the National Trainer’s Premiership with 103 wins to date. – NZ Racing Desk