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27 December 2017, 1:43 p.m.

Star on her way to Trentham

Montoya Star’s latest success has booked her ticket north to Wellington.

She won for the seventh time in her 22-start career when she overcame a chequered run to down her Rating 85 rivals in the Harcourts Handicap (1600m) at Wingatui on Boxing Day.

“She was pretty impressive and she’ll be going up for the Douro Cup on the second day of the Cup meeting,” said Michael Pitman, who prepares the High Chaparral mare with his son Matthew.

 

Initiative deals Boxing Day blow

A bold early move by jockey Danielle Johnson aboard Dougie at Ellerslie was richly rewarded.

She took the four-year-old to the front a long way from home in Tuesday’s Dunstan Feeds Stayers’ Qualifier (2000m) and, after being headed in the straight by Camino Rocoso, the Keeper gelding rallied strongly.

“That shows the class of Danielle when there was no pace in the race,” trainer Peter Lock said. “We’ve always held the horse in pretty high regard, he’s just had no luck.”

 

CD visit on programme

Irish Mist’s latest victory may have earned him a trip away.

The Guillotine gelding followed up a strong previous run for sixth to triumph in the Barfoot & Thompson 1600m at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.

“He went a huge race last start and he came through it very well,” co-trainer Michael Rogers said. “He does go left-handed so we might look at taking him down the line.”

 

Kiwi-bred a classic chance

Mick Price believes the New Zealand-bred Grunt might be classic material.

The Caulfield trainer has produced the son of O’Reilly to win two of his three starts, the latest over 1600m at Morphettville on Boxing Day.

‘’Grunt is a work in progress, but he is a really good horse,’’ Price said.

“I think he’s possibly an Australian Guineas horse. I can’t wait to get him to 2000 and 2400m, but he is a colt so we’ll try to maximise value on him.”

Out of the Van Nistelrooy mare Ruqqaya, Grunt was bred by Trelawney Stud and his older half-sister Addison, a daughter of Jimmy Choux, also won at Caulfield on Tuesday.