Juvenile keeps it in family

Irish Flame. Photo / Race Images PNth.
Irish Flame. Photo / Race Images PNth.

Irish Flame completed a notable family double when the local hope upstaged his better fancied rivals in the juvenile feature at New Plymouth.

The John Wheeler-trained youngster left no excuses for his rivals in yesterday's group three Phoenix Park Classic as he bombed the start and then had to cover extra ground before racing away for a commanding victory.

He is a grandson of the Centaine mare Fleur De Chine, who won three races as a 2-year-old, including the 1996 edition of the New Plymouth event.

She went on to finish fourth at her next appearance in the group one Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes and that's the race Wheeler has tagged for Irish Flame.

"Being by Zed he's still quite immature but he's good enough to have a go at the Sires' Produce at Awapuni," Wheeler said.

Irish Flame was tardily away before rider Dylan Turner sent him around the field 600m from home. The gelding revelled in his work and shot away 250m from home to score by a decisive 1 lengths at odds of 15-1.

Icebomb came from second last to finish second and Aquamosa took third money from the well-supported Sophie's Choice.

Meanwhile, Matamata apprentice Anna Jones rode her 100th winner when she got Our King Sway home at the head of the field in the group three Taranaki Cup.

Our King Sway was allowed time to find his feet before the Glenn Old-trained gelding picked up ground 800m from home.

Our King Sway maintained a sustained run to wear down Overtheriver, who went to the front a long way from home, and Cruiser continued his genuine run of recent form with his third placing.

- NZ Herald

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