Racing: Illuminati shines in stakes win

Trudy Thornton and Illuminati yesterday. Photo / Trish Dunell
Trudy Thornton and Illuminati yesterday. Photo / Trish Dunell

Ben Foote's day didn't start well at Rotorua, but he ended it on a celebratory note after a significant victory from his genuine mare Illuminati.

"I dropped my lip earlier after the other two horses didn't perform up to expectations, but I'm happy now," the Cambridge trainer said.

Bazz and So It Goes had turned in disappointing efforts in the Rating 85 mile before Illuminati restored the stable pride on Saturday with a runaway win in the Listed Classic Cuisine Rotorua WFA Stakes.

The Keeper mare has been hot on the trail of black type in the last two seasons and she had placed at Group Three level in the Winter Cup, the White Robe Lodge Stakes and in the Cuddle Stakes before breaking through at Arawa Park.

"It's well-deserved and she's quite a tough mare," Foote said.

"She got a couple of Group placings last preparation, but she never got the tracks to suit her " she needs cut in the ground."

He has yet to confirm Illuminati's winter campaign, but the Listed Team Wealleans Tauranga Classic next month and a second crack at the EstarOnline Winter Cup at Riccarton on August 6 are two tempting options.

Illuminati jumped well on Saturday from her inside gate to track the pace and rider Trudy Thornton said she had no worries during the running.

"She travelled well and I got to the outside turning for home and she did the rest," Thornton said.

"She gives her heart and soul and it's a terrific result."

Illuminati was two and three quarter lengths clear of the outsiders Madonna Mia and Lady Zafira at the post.

- Herald on Sunday

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