Promising juvenile filly Flaunting became Hamilton trainer David Greene’s fourth stakes winner when she took out the Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui on Saturday.
The daughter of Showcasing has amassed a strong record in her short career, which includes two wins and a placing from just four starts, with her only unplaced result coming in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie in January.
“Drawing one (in the Karaka Million) probably turned out to be the worst thing for her in a race where there was heaps of speed and we had to kick up and use our gate,” Greene said.
“She got wound up and as the horses tired in front of her, they were coming back onto her, and she just got overawed about it all I think.
“She had a nice, big spell after that and really let down well and came back a better horse.”
Greene was pleased with Flaunting heading into Saturday’s contest, with his only reservation being the testing conditions of the Heavy11 track.
“I was really happy with how the horse was,” he said.
“She was great heading into the race, but I was a little bit concerned about how testing that track was playing on the day. But luckily she was good enough to get away with it.
“I thought it was outstanding (her run). To show the fight that she did and pick a path through the field and still be the strongest on the line, that was very impressive.”
Flaunting will now head for a quick freshen-up before attempting to add a second stakes win to her tally when she contests the Listed Ryder Stakes (1200m) at Otaki next month.
“She is going to have a week off now and she’ll come back and run in the Ryder Stakes at the end of the season,” Greene said.
“Whether we have a lead-in run, I’m not 100 percent sure, but that will be her next target.”
Greene purchased Flaunting out of Haunui Farm’s 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 2 Yearling Sale draft for $40,000 and he said she has developed a lot since then.
“She was a very well balanced yearling, but at that stage she was probably a little bit behind some of the other yearlings (at the sale).
“The best thing to happen to her was after the sales she went out for a spell. She let down well and improved all the time.”
Saturday’s win was a welcome result for Greene, with Flaunting becoming his fourth individual stakes winner.
“We had High Kin win a Taumaranui Cup (Listed, 2100m),” he said. “Beauty’s Beast won a sprint (Listed South Pacific Classic, 1400m) over in Sydney at the Championships, and of course Stolen Dance (Gr.3 Eagle Technology Stakes, 1600m, and Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes, 1600m.”
Greene is in his thirteenth season of training and his seventh since taking up residence at Hamilton’s Te Rapa racecourse.
It was a return home of sorts for Greene who got hooked on the sport while he was at school. He elected to enter the industry upon leaving school, working for trainer Richard Otto.
“I got interested in horses as a kid and followed racing. Eventually, after leaving school I started working in the stables and just went from there,” he said.
“I worked for Richard Otto and I followed around Matthew Smith at Warwick Farm.
“From there I just went out on my own pre-training and breaking-in horses before I took out my public license.
“We had a block of land out at Tahuna and we were out there for five or six years. Heidi (wife) and I were mainly breaking-in and pre-training and doing what we could.”
Greene subsequently moved his operation to Te Rapa and said he enjoys the lifestyle Hamilton affords his family.
“I moved to Te Rapa about seven years ago, we really enjoy it.
“I am from Hamilton and all my family is from here. We have got four young kids, so it’s great to be able to give them the opportunity of growing up in Hamilton. The race track is just up the road and it all fits in pretty well for us.”
Greene didn’t hold a lot of expectations heading into the 2018/19 season with his young team, however he said a number of his juveniles have surprised him.
“We have surprised ourselves a bit this year because it looked like it was going to be a bit of a rebuilding year. But our two-year-olds have come on and flown the flag for us.”
While Flaunting will be one of a small racing team for Greene over winter, he is already looking forward to next season with a number of talented stable runners.
“We pretty much shut down during the winter,” he said. “We hardly have a team at all, we have half a dozen in work at the moment. Normally in the spring we would have 15 or 16 in work.
“We have got some nice horses for next season. Dama Zorro looks like she will be right up to running in Group company, and we have a tidy little two-year-old gelding who is a full-brother to Stolen Dance. He is unnamed at the moment, but he goes pretty well.” – NZ Racing Desk