Racing: Xanadu gets group one win at long last


Ken Kelso let go a massive sigh of relief when Xanadu hit the line in front in the Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes at Te Aroha today.

His emotions weren't hard to read: At last a Group One win in the final weeks of a season in which Xanadu had been placed at racing's highest level on no fewer than five occasions.

"It was always there, she had been beaten by good horses like Ocean Park and Final Touch and we knew her turn would come when things went her way," said a relieved Kelso, who trains Xanadu in partnership with his wife Bev.

Second in yesterday's race was Twilight Granita, 1 lengths back with a similar margin to Diademe in third place.

• Overreach showed just why she has dominated Golden Slipper markets for weeks with a comprehensive display at Rosehill yesterday to give Gai Waterhouse her fifth win in the world's richest race for two-year-olds.

After giving the filly the perfect run on the rails just behind the leaders from barrier one, jockey Tommy Berry brought Overreach off the fence to the middle of the track in the straight.

She stretched out in the slow ground to hold Sidestep at bay by 1 lengths with a length to Sweet Idea.

New Zealand's top hope Ruud Awakening struggled, beating just Dothraki to the line.

Criterion, owned by Sir Owen Glenn, bungled the start and put in a good effort to finish sixth.

His jockey Hugh Bowman rued what might have been but was happy for Overreach's owner and breeder George Altomonte who hails from the same small country town as he does.

"It's good to see the Slipper go to Dunedoo," Bowman said.

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