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Rotorua move pays a handsome price

21 October 2017, 3:27 p.m.

A late decision to send Civilised to Rotorua had its reward on Saturday when he upset a handy field of age group gallopers.

In his fourth appearance, the gelding finished powerfully from back in the field to open his winning account in the Burton Construction 3YO (1215m) in the hands of Danielle Johnson.

Civilised (red cap) accounts for Nucleonic
Photo: Trish Dunell

“They left the nominations open for the race and it was worth $25,000 so I said to the owners that we had to have a go,” said trainer Lee Somervell from Napier, where he was attending a wedding.

“I gave him a very good show. He ran third at Taupo at his previous start and he was as big as a bull.  I said to Danielle on Friday before I left not to under-estimate this horse, he’s got a lot of ability.

“Maija Vance was going to ride him, she handles him in his work, and I feel sorry for her as she’s struggling with her weight a bit.”

Out of the Royal Academy mare Donna Majella, Civilised is raced by Angela Hancock (nee Hawker), a Cambridge-based vet, and her husband Bill.

“He’s a big fellow and weighs in at 560kg and he’s got a lovely personality and temperament, he’s a good advertisement for his sire Civics,” Somervell said.

Civilised settled back on the fence and Johnson was able to get him off the rail across the top and the horse let down impressively in the straight to beat Nucleonic, who did well after a tardy start.

“I got a run around them and he hit the line strongly,” Johnson said. “I looked at the replays of his last couple and he was hitting the line nicely without a lot of luck.” – NZ Racing Desk.