Racing: Sodden Taupo abandoned

Quality filly Honey Rider cruised to a win at Taupo before the meeting was abandoned.
Quality filly Honey Rider cruised to a win at Taupo before the meeting was abandoned.

The thoroughbred racing's season of discontent continued as yesterday's Taupo meeting was abandoned after three races.

And to make matters worse, the meeting set down for Te Teko on Friday has now also been abandoned.

The Taupo meeting was canned after horses were found to be slipping in the third race on the card.

It continued a staggering run of meetings being abandoned, mainly due to the extreme wet, mainly in the North Island this season.

The Te Teko meeting has at least been cancelled early because of the torrential and persistent rain in the region.

The course is currently water-logged in many parts and the club is unable to guarantee a consistent or safe surface for racing.

There are no other tracks in the northern region available to accommodate this meeting.

So NZTR, together with the Auckland RC, will add a maiden 2-year-old 1200m and a maiden 1200m race to their programme this Saturday.

Both these races will be worth $10,000.

No races are able to be added to the Avondale meeting on Anzac Day given the requirement to start racing after 1pm. There will be a final race added to the Tauranga meeting scheduled for April 27.

The big winner before yesterday's meeting was lost was quality filly Honey Rider, who showed she is in the right order to chase down her second group three victory for the season soon.

The daughter of Pins looked to be in for a soft kill in yesterday's Auto Cheap Taupo 1300 and so it proved ahead of a sterner test at Te Rapa on Saturday week.

"She did that easily enough and she'll go to the Cambridge Breeders' Stakes now," said Murray Baker, who trains in partnership with Andrew Forsman.

"She's had a bit of a freshen up and she was ready to go again."

The winner of the group three Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings in the spring, Honey Rider was caught three wide in a small field at Taupo before rider Michael Coleman allowed her to slide forward outside the leader.

Honey Rider was in charge at the top of the straight and she strode clear to inflict a first defeat on Alamosa Express.

"She's pretty good when she's right and she looked to be waiting for the others a bit," Baker said.

He also confirmed that their last-start group one New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes winner Charmont would return to action on April 29.

"She's going to run in the Travis Stakes at Te Rapa, but I'm not sure about things after that," Baker said.

Charmont had won the Listed Wairarapa Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes in February for breeder-owner Bob Emery before breaking through at the highest level in the Te Aroha feature.

Meanwhile, also chasing black type but in Australia soon will be former Kiwi filly Untamed Diamond.

"There's a 1300-metre race at Hawkesbury for her in a fortnight's time," said trainer Richard Collett, referring to the group three Godolphin Crown.

Untamed Diamond had been troubled by a foot issue since a runner-up finish in February, but she showed she was back to her best with a determined performance to win at Randwick on Saturday in the hands of Collett's son Jason.

"She had a setback when she got cast in her box," he said. "We chanced our arm a bit on the heavy ground at the weekend and got away with it. It was a nice result," he said.

"In the 12 months she has been over there she has become a lot more professional and she has strengthened up nicely as a 4-year-old."

Untamed Diamond won races at Ruakaka, Ellerslie and Trentham before she crossed the Tasman as a foundation member of Collett's Warwick Farm operation.

"I went there initially with what they call a visitor's permit and I said to the ATC that if they gave me stables there I would apply for a full licence and that's what I did," he said.

"We've got 10 boxes on the course and near the swimming pool so it's ideal."

His Sydney staff includes the experienced Quinton Cassidy, whose CV features a stint in Asia training for the powerful China Horse Club.

- NZ Racing Desk

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