Racing: Cossey makes sensational call on Rasa Lila

By Mike Dillon

Rasa Lila and co-trainer Julia Ritchie after winning the $100,000 Travis Stakes at Te Rapa. Photo / Trish Dunell
Rasa Lila and co-trainer Julia Ritchie after winning the $100,000 Travis Stakes at Te Rapa. Photo / Trish Dunell

Thank Leith Innes and Peter Vela's racing manager Gary Cossey for Rasa Lila's $100,000 Travis Stakes win at Te Rapa on Saturday.

Innes was adamant Rasa Lila should be given her chance at the race rather than spelled after luckless runs in the Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha and last week's Easter at Ellerslie, in which the class mare finished third.

"She would have won last week if she hadn't had to start from barrier No15," said Innes after this much-deserved victory. "And she drew wide when close up sixth at Te Aroha."

This time from gate No2 there was never going to be an issue. You could have started walking to the collect window when the field swung into the home straight. By that stage Innes had extracted Rasa Lila from behind the leaders and charged up three deep to challenge. There was no resistance and Rasa Lila won untested.

"It's a nice way to go out for a spell," said Steven Ramsay, who trains the talented mare in partnership with Julia Ritchie.

Almost as deserving of this win would have been second placed Abide With Me, who finished only ninth in the Easter, but was less than 2 lengths from the winner after starting from a similarly awkward barrier.

- NZ Herald

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