Racing: Chenille simply too quick

By Mike Dillon

Danielle Johnson rides Chenille to victory in the $75,000 Hawkes Bay Gold Cup on Saturday. Photo / NZME
Danielle Johnson rides Chenille to victory in the $75,000 Hawkes Bay Gold Cup on Saturday. Photo / NZME

The outstanding quality of a top class stayer - the ability to run 220m-300m faster than the opposition at any section of the race.

It's how Chenille won Saturday's 2200m Fasttrackinsurance Hawkes Bay Gold Cup.

Trouble is, it won't be until next season that we can apply that piece of information.

Chenille is now going out for what trainer Tony Pike says is a well earned spell.

Okay, the light weight helped on this occasion, but the speed Chenille produced when asked by rider Danielle Johnson was totally mouth-opening.

The home-straight dash put the issue beyond doubt very quickly.

There was plenty of in-stable confidence in Chenille despite being beaten in an easier race, the Te Aroha Cup, in the lead-up.

"I was happy with that run for third, because she'd had a bit of a short break before it and the track was racing against her style," Pike said.

The quick back-up was never a worry for Pike.

"She did well from that run, because it would have been the wrong thing to ask her for a gut-buster in a race she couldn't win."

The win was all the more impressive with Chenille being held up for a run at the 600m.

"She was going backwards when the others were going forward. It didn't look promising, but her class came through."

St Emilion, well up in the weights, held on well for second, being very determined late, but the weight differential and the class of the winner was substantial.

Passing Shot was strong in leading throughout in the sprint.

He is a warrior in the right conditions and carried his weight brilliantly.

This column previously did a "Ride Of The Week" which led to more problems than you could guess.

But at Tauranga on Saturday, Reese Jones had to get the ride of the day, winning on Our King Sway. Beautifully named type, with the worst sway back (big dip in the middle of the back) you can remember. Not easy to ride because the saddle has to sit so far back you almost want to believe the jockey has lost contact with the horse's mouth.

"The worst part of it is the saddle keeps slipping back," said Jones yesterday.

"You get past the point of balance."

The magnificent point of this victory is the pair had to come from last on the home bend.

- NZ Herald

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