Sir Patrick Hogan watched with delight as his horse Abidewithme made a withering finishing burst to win the feature race of the Christmas at the Races event at Tauranga Racecourse on Saturday.
Abidewithme, under an exuberant ride from jockey Michael McNab, came from near last at the start of the back straight to outpace the top class Group 2 field to win the Preston Rowe Paterson Property Valuers Tauranga Stakes by half a length.
El Pescado, trained at Matapihi by Stuart Manning, looked set for a memorable win but was run down at the post by Abidewithme. Julinski Prince has won the Tauranga Stakes twice before but had to settle for third this time.
Sir Patrick Hogan says he was comfortable with the position McNab had the horse heading for home.
"Michael has ridden her most of the time and he rides her beautifully. He knows her so before she went out I said to Michael to ride your own race.
"It was obvious she was going to be two or three wide and there could be a lot of pace on being a mile, so I said if you are out the back you need the opportunity to sneak up a little bit if you can."
Hogan says not all of his advice was taken on board by McNab.
"We always like to have a chat about what I like and don't like.
"I said on the bend wait, wait, wait and make sure you are finding a gap or plenty of room for her because she likes room. When you come off the bend in case she is not balanced count one, two, three and then go.
"When he came in I said did you go one, two, three and he said no, I went one and a half, it is time to go.
"We did want to jump and we did want to be with them but that was not an issue in the end. We know she has got a good finish.
The well-bred 7-year-old Abidewithme is in foal to Tavistock and the the Redoute's Choice mare will have three upcoming opportunities to complete her CV.
She has two previous Group 1 placings to her credit, both in the NZ Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes.
"I believe she deserves to be a Group 1 winner," Hogan said.
"We planned that her mating must be not until the 120 days are up on the carnival at Te Rapa in February so that will give us out last crack if we haven't won a Group 1 by then.
"The day after Te Rapa is weight for age and she will be ineligible for racing."
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