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Stock Up For The Spring

 A sight to behold … STOCK UP winning her first start back since an enforced layoff. The now five-year-old mare, who hadn’t raced since May 9 this year, took out the second race of the Illawarra Turf Club’s meeting held at Kembla Grange on Saturday October 26.

 The daughter of Tavistock (NZ) had been given two barrier trials prior to today and had performed well, the second being a very nice trial that saw STOCK UP win her heat comfortably under a nice hold, without too much effort. A definite pointer to a good first-up performance and the punters were of the same opinion, sending her out as the $3.60 favourite after being firm throughout in the betting for the 1400 metre event. Christian Reith rode the mare in her last trial had accepted today’s mount.

 STOCK UP had been allocated the steadier of 58.5kgs and would jump from barrier four in the field of eight runners. With the track rated a Good 4, the running rail was set at six metres out from the 1000 metres to the winning post and three metres out for the remainder. Clear spring skies prevailed although the blustery winds put a bit of a dampener on things, gusting up to 40 kilometres per hour at times earlier in the day.

 The stage was set, over at the 1400 metres start located in the back straight the runners were all locked away and ready to go. STOCK UP “ flew the lids” and was in front briefly that was until three other horses continued to press on from their wider barriers. Christian immediately eased his mount, settling her in fourth position, three wide, about two and a half lengths off the lead horse, Winter In America.

 The pace was solid, for the next couple of hundred metres Christian was looking to get closer to the rail going forward momentarily then easing STOCK UP back as nothing was eventuating. On reaching the 1000 metres marker the jockey had decided … three wide it is.

 Shortly afterwards Christian eased again, as a result the pair found themselves in sixth position, three and a bit lengths off the leader (Winter In America). With 600 metres to go, the pace quickened, STOCK UP was travelling comfortably and steadily began making ground.

 With the home turn ahead of them, moves were afoot from the bunch of horses in front, these moves causing Christian to steer a five-wide-course on his mare. STOCK UP was still improving into the race around the bend, negotiating it perfectly … “as smooth as silk”.

 Nearing 300 metres from home, STOCK UP was on level terms with Winter In America sticking to the fence and Monsieur Macron (also bred in New Zealand) to her inside were getting down to the business end of things, especially the latter.

 Inside the 200 metres now, it was down to Monsieur Macron and STOCK UP to fight out the finish and fight they did. STOCK UP was in front with 150 metres left, the other horse had the audacity to head her at the 50 metres. Two strides before the line STOCK UP … one stride later Monsieur Macron. It was only right on the post that STOCK UP got her head down at the right time … the margin a short half head.

 What a mighty effort, after her setback the mare had pulled out all stops to gain another victory. All concerned are to be congratulated, the Owners, Scott and his team, Christian for a truly professional, heady ride and of course we mustn’t forget STOCK UP.

 With Spring in the air it might just be the time for STOCK UP to stock up on her wins ... Fortune Favours The Brave.

Ladies Love A ‘Rose’

 Even more so after race three at the Wyong races held on Thursday 16th May 2019. NICCIROSE a three-year-old bay gelding by Nicconi out of a Rubiton mare in Rubirose left the red-hot ,odds-on favourite, the Waterhouse / Bott - trained Embracer in his wake in the closing stages.

 What the owners, a group of ladies including Lucy, wife of trainer Scott and some wives and partners of long time clients also loved was NICCIROSE’s starting price … $31. It was their horse’s best performance of his eight start career.

 After the gelding’s last run, Scott identified that a short freshen up might be required. NICCIROSE has spent a fair bit of time swimming, the trainer also decided that a gear change would help, taking the horse’s nose roll off and applying winkers … these decisions certainly produced a fine result.

 The Wyong track looked in great order, rated a Good 4, the rail in the true position. The meeting would be held under fine, sunny skies … a perfect autumn day. Jockey Christian Reith was in the saddle and NICCIROSE had drawn one from the outside in barrier eight.

 Due to an odds-on favourite being in the race, Embracer ($1.09) and the punters investing heavily late on that horse, NICCIROSE was a drifter in the betting opening at $21 and getting out to $31 when they jumped.

 The plan was in place, the favourite would jump and lead, that horse had drawn two gates inside of NICCIROSE and if Christian and his mount jumped on terms, come across and park outside the Waterhouse / Bott-trained horse, keeping that colt aware of your presence, inexperience under race conditions may be their undoing.

 Christian followed orders to the letter. NICCIROSE  jumped well, as did Embracer and those two horses made their way across to the fence simultaneously. At the 1100 metres mark there was a three length margin to the rest of the field.

 With 900 metres still to run NICCIROSE’s jockey eased his horse slightly, just enough to let the bold frontrunner know they were still there and being a bit of a pest. With that marginal drop in tempo the rest of the field were reducing the margin to the leaders.

 Passing the 600 metres, Harry’s Comet was making a dash three wide and got within three quarters of a length, 200 metres later that run ended with that horse dropping off sharply. NICCIROSE was beginning to get serious and had drawn level with the short-priced favourite, who was now being pushed along vigorously.

 NICCIROSE seemed to be doing it comfortably as Christian issued the challenge. Once balanced in the straight the jockey said go … and go they did, lengthening the leading margin with every stride. The $1.09 shot had had enough, his jockey putting away the whip 200 metres out.

 A few brandishes of the persuader to maintain momentum and victory was their’s. With ears pricked NICCIROSE coasted past the post, the official winning margin ? … 4.54 lengths.

 Geez !!! that was some performance. Well done to trainer Scott, your owners are so fortunate that you are so in touch with your horses and to Christian for carrying out the plan, a masterful ride.

 Of course, many sincere congratulations go to the ladies in the ownership, you’re probably loving a ‘rose’ even more … thanks NICCIROSE for keeping the romance alive.

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