Racing: Far from model preparation but filly was still too good

By Mike Dillon

Role Model made a winning debut at Te Rapa on Saturday. Photo / Thinkstock
Role Model made a winning debut at Te Rapa on Saturday. Photo / Thinkstock

John Sargent took a risk running debut juvenile Role Model at Te Rapa on Saturday.

He ideally would have liked to have given her another run in a barrier trial.

"But I ran out of time - I had to give her a start here if she was to go into the Breeders Stakes at Matamata," said Sargent.

"I had to take a risk."

The Matamata Breeders Stakes will be contested on February 23.

Horse racing is all about luck and Sargent got away with it, evidenced by the strong finish Role Model produced to easily encapsulate the opposition.

Sargent got Role Model when she was passed in as part of the Westbury Stud draft last year.

"It's one of Gerry Harvey's, by one of the lesser stallions he stands [Bel Danoro] and she is pretty smart.

"She'd been showing us plenty at home and this victory is no surprise."

Sargent knows he's pressure cooking Role Model into the Matamata Breeders Stakes, but is confident the filly can handle the assignment.

"It's going to be one of the strongest Matamata Breeders Stakes in a decade, but it's the home track so we have to have a go."

Wannabe didn't have a lot of luck when she raced last at Manawatu last start, but she got plenty before winning at Te Rapa on Saturday.

Particularly when hot favourite The Tidy Express stumbled coming out of the starting gates and dropped rider Jonathan Riddell.

That didn't make it totally a given for Wannabe, who had to get through a tough home-straight battle with One Above.

But it might have been different.

Riddell was able to ride for the remainder of the card in what was a day of plenty of rider changes.

Jason Waddell and Vinnie Colgan declared they couldn't ride at the meeting, then Matt Cameron and Opie Bosson were stood down after riding.

Bosson aggravated a finger injury.

- NZ Herald

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