Racing: Classy pair tough as teak

By Mike Dillon

Trudy Thornton and Pondarosa Miss take out the $30,000 Coca-Cola 2100 at Ellerslie. Picture / Trish Dunell
Trudy Thornton and Pondarosa Miss take out the $30,000 Coca-Cola 2100 at Ellerslie. Picture / Trish Dunell

There is a widely accepted thought that Trudy Thornton is the toughest jockey riding.
The Waikato horsewoman has finally landed the ride on her perfect match - Pondarosa Miss.

The best horse co-owner and trainer Peter Hollinshead had was practically his first, iron mare Judena, who had a remarkable number of starts as a 2-year-old.

"I thought Judena was tough, but I reckon this mare is tougher," said Hollinshead after Pondarosa Miss and Trudy Thornton combined to justify favouritism and win the $30,000 Coca-Cola 2100 at Ellerslie on Saturday.

"She's as tough as you Trudy," you suggest. "Yes," came the reply with a belly laugh, "and she's got the same attitude." For that read granite minded.

But toughness isn't the only quality Thornton admires in Pondarosa Miss.

"The sprint she's got on her is unbelievable," she enthused. Thornton was also staggered how good the Ellerslie track raced after 38mm of rain on Friday.

Officially the footing was given as a dead 6 and most jockeys described it as perfect.

Congratulations need to go to the Auckland Racing Club. Officials took the punt the rain would definitely arrive on Friday and kept away from the temptation to irrigate.

Had the rain not come on Friday it would have been like racing on the main road. Had they watered, Saturday's footing would have been slow.

They took the punt and it came off.

Racing is all about the punt.

Hollinshead said the 3200m Auckland Cup is the main mission for Pondarosa Miss with the 2000m weight-for-age at Te Rapa the lead-up.

Trudy Thornton walked past. "I suppose we're not going to be able to get you off her now," said Hollinshead. "Not even with a crowbar," she said.

***

The judicial report from race 6 at Ellerslie included: "Mime was then held up and shifted in to obtain clear running. An inquiry was opened into the riding tactics adopted aboard Mime (M Cameron) with stewards adjourning the matter for further investigation including reviewing the betting activity. A post-race veterinary examination of Mime could find no abnormalities."

Mime seemed unable to muster sufficient speed from an awkward barrier at the 1200m start and dropped to third last.

Early in the home straight Matt Cameron elected not to go outside those in front because he would have had to go so wide the task would have been impossible.

Instead he aimed Mime to the inside rail and the 3-year-old filly finished the race powerfully into second.

It is clear her best form will be in races further than 1200m.

- NZ Herald

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