An emotional Shelley Hale again savoured success in three racing roles when Seventh Up powered to victory in the group 2 Easter Stakes at Ellerslie yesterday.
The Cambridge horsewoman celebrated as the co-breeder, part-owner and trainer of the well-related son of Shinko King, who took top honours in the Manco-sponsored feature under veteran jockey Grant Cooksley.
"Wow, I just wish it was still a group 1 as I think he is a group 1 horse," Hale said.
"I'm thrilled to bits and quite overcome by it all. He's a neat horse and it's just lovely to see him get such a good win."
Seventh Up is a son of the Exploding Prospect mare Regelle, who won four races herself but has made a more serious mark as a broodmare.
Seven of her eight foals to race have won and they include Seventh Up's brothers Thumbs Up, a group 2 winner and group 1 placegetter in Hong Kong, and Sum Up, a multiple winner and a group performer.
"She's been a gem of a mare for us," Hale said.
The latest family star, Seventh Up, settled off the pace and when the field fanned out in the straight he hit top gear for Cooksley and, appropriately, powered to the seventh win of his 16-start career.
"He jarred up down at Riccarton in the spring so we missed races like the Rich Hill Mile and the Thorndon, but they are races we will be looking at next time around," Hale said.
Seventh Up was having his fourth start since his disappointing southern venture and had showed himself to be on target for yesterday's 1600m feature with his lead-up success in an open sprint at Tauranga last week.
"He won comfortably, it took nothing out of him and he bounced through the week so I knew he was ready," Hale said.
The talented Hiflyer ran bravely for second ahead of the favourite and previously unbeaten Let Me Roar with evergreen Scapolo fourth, ahead of last year's winner Sound Proposition in an exciting finish.
- NZ Racing Desk.