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Carnival-bound star dazzles at the Bay

23 September 2017, 7:36 p.m.

Gingernuts is on an impressive upward plane with the countdown on to his Melbourne spring carnival targets.

A luckless fifth when resuming in the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m), his return to Hawke’s Bay on Saturday ended triumphantly when he added the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) to his record.

 

Gingernuts downs Close Up with third placegetter Kawi in tight quarters in behind
Photo: Trish Dunell Photography

“He’s an exciting horse and he’s still learning his trade,” said rider Opie Bosson, who won the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) and the Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on Gingernuts last season.

The 37-year-old was at his brilliant best on the Iffraaj gelding at Hastings where he sat back before improving wide on the tail of one of his toughest rivals.

“I got in behind Kawi and he gave me a beautiful track into the race,” Bosson said.

Gingernuts was outside Kawi at the top of the straight and the classy Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained chestnut finished strongly to down the Tarzino Trophy winner Close Up by a short neck.

“I was a bit worried when he started gawking around and he only knuckled down when the other horse came at him,” Bosson said. “There’s so much improvement left in him.”

Kawi finished third after getting into tight quarters between the winner and runner-up close to home with rider Jason Waddell forced to take a hold of the six-time Group One winner, although the incident had no bearing on the result.

Gingernuts, who has Group One entries for the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and the Melbourne Cup (3200m), is now a firm favourite for the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) in a fortnight’s time, although his participation isn’t guaranteed.

Richards indicated an imminent round table discussion with Autridge and Te Akau principal David Ellis would confirm their path forward.

“We won’t be making any decisions today and we’ll sit down tomorrow and have a chat,” he said.

“The horse still isn’t 100 per cent in the coat just yet. He’s a staying type of horse and to win over a mile at weight-for-age as a four-year-old is a great effort.

“There’s a great team of owners behind this horse – it’s good for racing and it’s great to be part of it.” – NZ Racing Desk.