With a strong performance at Awapuni on Saturday, emerging wet-track performer Herengawe produced a bold audition for next month’s Gr.3 Winning Edge Presentations 122nd Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton.
A last-start Rating 72 winner, Herengawe was thrown in at the deep end on Saturday and tackled open class for the first time in the Grant Plumbing (1400m).
With Lisa Allpress in the saddle, the four-year-old son of Zed sprinted superbly through the mud to go from last to first and beat the front-running King Cougar by a length and a quarter.
“He’s quite an exciting horse, a good up-and-comer,” Waverley trainer Joanne Moss said.
“He’s gone through the grades nicely this season, he’s just cruising along and seems to be a happy horse.
“It was a really good win today. You take every win as it comes in this game, because they’re not easy to get.
“We’ve nominated him for the Winter Cup next month, so we’ll see what happens. The plan was to run in this race first, and if he went well, have a go at the Opunake Cup (1400m) in a couple of weeks. Then we could carry on to the Winter Cup after that. But we’ll be watching the weather as well, so we’ll just see how we go.”
Herengawe has now had 12 starts for five wins, three placings and $79,685 in stakes for his owner-breeder, champion jumps jockey Isaac Lupton. All of his five wins have come this season.
“He’s got that natural maturity now, with this being his second full prep,” Lupton said. “He seems to really like the wet tracks, so we’ll just keep targeting those.”
Four of Herengawe’s five wins have come on heavy tracks, with the only exception being a victory on a Dead5 at Hawera last October.
Herengawe had been rated a $16 chance in the Winter Cup market prior to Saturday’s win, but now shares $8 second favouritism with Red Sierra. Rosewood heads the market at $6.
Saturday’s runner-up King Cougar is now rated a $14 chance for the Winter Cup, while third-placed Dougie is not nominated. She’s Poppy and Comeback, who completed the five-horse field, are now at $14 and $18 respectively. – NZ Racing Desk.