It was a stable quinella but Hastings trainer Kelly Burne's lips were pursed, preferring to let the syndicates do the talking at yesterday's Hawke's Bay meeting.

The syndicate representatives didn't disappoint after Saint Kitt and Cajun were first and second, respectively, in the seventh race.

"We're very pleased with the win. We thought that we'd win but there you go [because] you don't know for sure, eh?" Bob Atkinson said of the mostly Bay six-member Scott's Syndicate after the 2000m DM Palmer NZ Ltd & Bostock NZ Hcp rating 75.

"I got the quinella, anyway, so that's pretty good," Atkinson said.


Saint Kitt, who was sixth in the Auckland Cup last year, will line up at the same meeting at Ellerslie on March 4.

"It's a smaller race on a Thursday [Hastings yesterday], so it's a stepping stone, really. We hope we're on the rise."

But it'll be the 2100m Wairoa Cup mid-next month before that for the 5-year-old gelding who has, won the syndicate more than $65,000.

"It's Kelly Burne's favourite horse, I know that much," he said, adding he was a big but temperamental horse.

Jonathan Riddell said favourite Saint Kitt, starting from the No2 barrier, was clearly the best horse.

"He probably needed a run but even then he was a class above that [field]," Riddell said.

The jockey said the horse got caught up in a traffic jam at the turn.

"So I was a little bit worried but he galloped away."


Riddell, who has been aboard Saint Kitt only twice, has struck gold both times.

"The horse had won the last time and also got a bit more money," he said of the $18,500 Feilding Hotel Handicap over 2300m on November 1 last year.

Samantha Collett, who had to settle for runner-up on the Burne-trained Cajun, was happy with the 1.3-length placing, considering she received a rough passage.

"We were stuck in a bit of an awkward spot most of the race from a wide draw so the winner was too good for me," Collett said of the 6-year-old brown mare.

Riddell was stuck in, while she was stuck out (No 10 barrier) but she took Burne's advice of riding quietly and letting Cajun find the line.

"I think if I had got the run that Jonathan did I might have been hard to beat," said the grinning 25-year-old Waikato jockey who was hoping to win on Burne's Pit A Pat in the last race, the 1600m NZB Insurance Pearl Series race. That glory belonged to the Tony Bambry-trained Acquisto and Lisa Allpress.


Allpress had a great day, clinching the first 2200m Awesum Oragnics maiden on Gifted Lad and then backed it up soon after on Bella's Delight in the 1200m Profruit Sprint.

"I thought it [Acquisto's race] was a little tough on paper [because] Patrick Campbell's Malrose was going to be hard to beat with Hayden Tinsley on it," she said, sitting a length behind before making her move.

"I didn't think she'd be a great chance but she's a nice little horse and she tried hard," the 39-year-old jockey said of the 3-year-old filly, revealing she had ridden the horse's dam, Mamasan, to victory.

Cajun's Think Big Syndicate manager, Paul Sullivan, said a few cup races, such as Wairarapa and Wairoa, were on the agenda.

"We're hoping to get some black type for her before the end of the season because she loves the dry tracks.

"We'll be heading wherever we can as much as we can."


Sullivan, with daughter Theresa Hislopa and a couple of members of the syndicate, raced Cajun's dam, Madison Mary (five wins).

Puketitiri resident Sullivan and Hislop, an Ashburton dairy farmer, bred Cajun who Hastings trainer John Bary initially trained.

"She's had three wins [with Bary] and numerous seconds now," he said, adding the syndicate wanted a change of stable.

Sullivan also manages the Notionannagins Syndicate whose 4-year-old mare (Robert Hannam) by the same name finished third in the last race, a short head behind Dixie Express.