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14 November 2017, 4:10 p.m.

Derby goal for Te Aroha winner

A colt bought with a classic mission in mind hasn’t taken long to break his maiden.

The Jimmy Choux three-year-old Secret Ambition produced a sustained finish to win the Te Aroha Liquor Centre 1600m on Tuesday at his third start following a resuming fifth at Avondale.

“His last run was solid, he hit the line well and he’d improved since,” said Allan Peard, who trains in partnership with Bruce Wallace.

“He was purchased for the Derby and that’s our main aim. We’ll get him home and make a plan now.”

 

Saturday contest favoured

Bill Thurlow will wait until Saturday before stepping out his smart mare Glory Days.

The Waverley trainer left her in Wednesday’s Gr.3 Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders’ Stakes (1400m), but said he favoured reserving the five-year-old for a Rating 75 mile at the weekend.

“I waited to see what the field was going to be like, but backing her up in a Group race at pretty much even weights is a step too far at this stage,” Thurlow said.

Glory Days, who won for the third time in her seven-start career last Saturday, has yet to race beyond 1400m, but moving up in distance is on her future programme.

“She’s by Red Giant out of a Montjeu mare so getting over more ground shouldn’t be a problem,” Thurlow said. “She’ll be in a stakes race somewhere soon enough.”

 

Jockey making his mark

Christchurch-based jockey Krish Gundowry is putting his international experience to good use.

The 34-year-old has formed a good association with trainers Michael and Matthew Pitman with four winners from 18 rides, including Nowhere Man at Riccarton on Saturday.

“He’s a good rider and a good bloke,” Michael Pitman said. “He did his apprenticeship in England and rode 42 winners and he’s ridden winners in Mauritius, New Caledonia, India and obviously New Zealand.”

Gundowry will team up with the Pitmans at Riccarton on Wednesday with Aquazurra (One Good Horse at Avonhead Premier 1200m) and Quaintrelle (Amicus Insurance Brokers Premier 1600m).

 

No need for change

Jon Miller is taking an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it approach’ with his honest performer Waipipi Lad.

“He’s not top class, but boy does he know his job,” the Cambridge trainer said. “I think he’d go over a bit more ground, but he’s racing so well over a mile at the moment that there’s no need to change anything.”

Waipipi Lad has two wins and four placings, including a third in the Listed Karaka Classic (1600m), from his last seven appearances.

“I don’t do much with him between races and he’ll go to Pukekohe or Ellerslie next,” Miller said.

 

Filly bounces back to open account

Gris Dame put a disappointing debut performance behind her when she ran up to her pedigree at Te Aroha on Tuesday to fuel ambitions for a loftier target.

The Reliable Man filly, a half-sister to the dual Group One winner MacO’Reilly, turned her form around to win the Te Aroha Stallion Placement Scheme 1400m after an inglorious first-up effort.

“We were a bit deflated after Tauranga when nothing went right,” co-trainer Jamie Richards said.

“We thought she was an Oaks filly so hopefully she’ll keep going the right way.”

Motivation completed a running double for the stable when he won the following event, the Continuous Stainless Steel 1400m. He made a winning debut off the back of a trial success at Te Awamutu last month.