Spring Racing - 3 October Review
- Big fields and 12 races contributed to an outstanding figure of $2.5 million being bet on the meeting. This was a significant increase on the $1.8 million recorded in 2019.
- The feature race of the day was the New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes. Canterbury Belle was raced by Nick and Carol Wigley and fittingly the winner MATCHMAKER (see image) carried the same colours as did Canterbury Belle. MATCHMAKER is trained by Nick in partnership with Kayla Milnes and owned by Inglewood Stud together with Australian Manoj Wanzare who bought into the filly after her impressive first up win back in July. Tina Comignaghi was the rider.
- Matamata trained COMMUNIQUE shortened dramatically in the market for the Christchurch Casino NZ Cup after a strong win in the Waimakariri Businesses North Canterbury Cup. A $10 equal favourite for the Cup on Saturday morning her 2 ¼ lengths win over the 1800 metres resulted in her coming into a clear $6 favourite with five weeks to go until ‘Cup Day’.
- COMMUNIQUE was one of two winners for Canterbury owner Kevin Hickman. The other being BABY MENAKA in the race named in memory of the late Tony Prendergast a wonderful trainer and gentleman in the true sense of the word who had passed away on the 16th of August. Tina Comignaghi rode BABY MENAKA for John and Karen Parsons whilst Kevin’s contracted rider Craig Grylls rode COMMUNIQUE for Steven Autridge and Kris Shailer.
- French woman Meghan Gestain had previously ridden a winner as an amateur rider but got her new career as an apprentice jockey off to a flying start winning aboard OUR GIRL GILLY for her employers Matthew and Michael Pitman in the Dyer Decorating Rating 74.
- Kenny Rae and daughter Krystal Williams-Tuhoro’s Northland travelling racing roadshow won the first two-year-old race the Nobby Bussell Memorial with FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS and the Inglewood Stud Guineas Trial with ZOLTAN. Lee Callaway and Terry Moseley were the respective riders.
- The days open sprint was taken out by WEKAFORCE for trainer Terri Rae and jockey Kylie Williams.