Fun at the Riccarton fair for Carnival team
15 November 2017, 6:20 p.m.
Lightly-tried speedster Carnival has earned herself a role on centre stage.
The Riccarton mare turned on a stirring sprinting show on her home track on Wednesday when she won the Gr.3 Lindauer Stewards’ Stakes Handicap (1200m) to earn a crack at one of the country’s premier events.
|Carnival downs Passing Shot (inner) and Kinagat Photo: Race Images South|
“She’s going to the Telegraph and why wouldn’t you?” said Kevin Hughes, who trains the short-course performer with his wife Pam.
Carnival was making just the eighth appearance of her career when she followed up a previous Rating 75 success for an early black type strike.
“She’s a very fast little horse and it’s great for (owners) Don and Wendy Pye, they put so much money into racing,” Hughes said.
Carnival showed her pace to sit outside the leader Passing Shot and the pair were at each other over the closing 350m before the local got the better of the Stephen McKee-trained front-runner in the shadows of the post.
“Full credit to the Hughes team, who presented the mare in great order,” successful jockey Samantha Collett said.
“She didn’t jump that well, but in two strides she was flying to get alongside Passing Shot and it took the length of the straight to get past him. She’s very tough.”
Passing Shot turned in a gallant performance in his first appearance for seven months.
“He’s been good at the trials, but there was a question whether that was enough for a high pressure race,” McKee said.
As it turned out, it wasn’t with Passing Shot coming up short by only a head and Kinagat got home strongly down the outside to finish third. – NZ Racing Desk.