Samantha Logan was hoping to have the jumps firepower in her small team back up to four after Saturday’s Te Rapa meeting, but Lambrusco had other ideas.
The Cambridge trainer started the winter off with four jumpers, but Ngatira Gold was then sidelined for the jumps season through an injury, leaving her with Zamora, Lacustre and Henry Tudor.
The plan was for Lambrusco to take up Ngatira Gold’s spot as a jumps contender after he showed some talent over fences with a third in an open hurdle trial at Cambridge on July 1.
Logan used a rating 65 2200m at Avondale nine days later to keep Lambrusco’s fitness up to the mark and he cruised home by six lengths.
“Aaron (Kuru) schooled him after that and he was thriving,” Logan said.
“The plan was to go to Te Aroha on the 14th (August) for a maiden hurdles, but Aaron said it would be probably best to give him another flat run to take the edge off him, so I put him in on Saturday.
“Going up to rating 82, I wasn’t expecting much. I thought they’d be too good for him and was just using the run to get him fitter for Te Aroha.”
However, Lambrusco, aided by a nice ride from apprentice Ashvin Goindasamy, proved too strong for his better-performed rivals, winning by one and three-quarter lengths.
“I guess I’ll have to postpone jumping for him for now,” Logan said.
“He’s probably just finally matured and while he’s going so well on the flat I’ll keep him to that.
“I suppose we could aim him for the extreme raceday at New Plymouth (September 28) and run him in the 3210m race, the longest flat race in the country. I know he’ll have no problem with the distance.”
Logan has a share in Lambrusco and also Lacustre, who was third to Max and Perry Mason in the McGregor Grant Steeplechase (4150m) at Ellerslie in early June and just beaten in his next appearance, two starts ago when second to Just Got Home at Te Aroha.
With a recent Rotorua flat run under his belt, Lacustre will start next at the Te Aroha meeting in an open steeplechase then head to the Pakuranga Hunt Cup (4190m) at Ellerslie on August 24 with his main goal being the Great Northern Steeplechase (6400m), back at Ellerslie on September 7.
“I’m also hoping to get Zamora to the Great Northern Steeplechase,” Logan said. “He’ll go straight into the Pakuranga Hunt Cup next then, all going well, on to the Great Northern. He needs his races spaced.”
Zamora won a restricted open steeplechase at Te Aroha two starts ago before finishing sixth to Gagarin in the Wellington Steeplechase (5500m).
“He was tripped up when they came onto the course proper at Trentham,” Logan said.
Logan won with both Zamora and Henry Tudor at the Te Aroha meeting on June 23 and the latter returned to the course for a fourth over hurdles before finishing at the tailend in a restricted open steeplechase at Te Rapa.
“He’ll go back to Te Aroha in a fortnight and the owners want him to switch back to the hurdles,” Logan said.
“If he shows good form he might go on for the Great Northern Hurdle (4190m) at Ellerslie next month.”
While Logan has had a good strike rate with four wins and two placings from her 10 starters within the last six weeks, it has certainly not been all plain-sailing for the horsewoman this year.
As well as losing Ngatira Gold for the winter, she lost potentially her best galloper, Woodloveit, and stablemates Poker Queen and Le Grazie suffered setbacks.
Woodloveto created a favourable impression last season when winning three times and placed twice from just seven starts.
He was in the early stages of a comeback after a bone chip operation and had resumed at Pukekohe in February when he broke a leg in trackwork.
“It was a spiral fracture and he couldn’t be saved,” Logan said.
“Before that Poker Queen won at Tauranga in February, but then had bone chips and had to undergo surgery, putting her out for six months.
“Then a couple of months ago Le Grazie tore a ligament the day he won his first start at Hastings.
“I had a run of bad luck, but my luck looks to have changed now. I just hope it continues.” - NZ Racing Desk