Derby placegetter returns to winning list rewarding patient trainer with first group one.
Thank God for water. No, the gratitude is not being expressed by a parched desert dweller, but the connections of cripple Historian, winner of Saturday's $200,000 Thorndon Mile at Trentham.
Historian should not be racing.
The Derby placegetter broke down so badly when sent to Hong Kong he was never going to face the raceday starter again.
But enter the water treadmill owned by Cambridge horseman Gary Alton.
To get Historian to even race in the Manangatang Cup for a sack of carrots would have been a feat - to win a group one couldn't even fit into the dream category.
"It's been a battle, but we've got there," said a delighted Alton.
Historian remains Hong Kong owned.
In a desperate finish Historian and Rosie Myers edged out a gallant Lady Kipling.
Historian looked likely to win easily under his light weight, but he was pressed to just hold out Lady Kipling, who lumped her 59.5kg with exceptional heart.
The finish of the Pacific Jewellers Wellington Cup was no less exciting.
New Zealand Cup winner Blood Brotha fought out a great battle with Annie Higgins and can add to the things that contributed to the victory the fact topweight Spiro was in the field. His presence pushed all the other runners' weight down to a compressed level.
And on the score of weights. Leith Innes did well to get down close to Annie Higgins' weight of 52kg, but the 0.75kg he missed making that weight by could have impacted on the result.
The close second further underlined the shocking luck Annie Higgins had when unplaced in the City Of Auckland Cup.
Dolmabachie lived up to her impeccable breeding (Redoute's Choice-Our Echezaux by Zabeel) with a courageous run for third. After being trapped three wide, Vinny Colgan allowed her to stride to the front with 1000m to run and she stuck on gamely up the home straight, warding off several attacks.
She could be suited by the 3200m of the Auckland Cup on March 6.By Mike Dillon Email Mike