Welcome result for Kaharau's owners
The connections of Kaharau received a degree of compensation on Saturday after missing out on a far bigger cheque earlier this year.
"We had him sold to South Australia as a jumper, but he failed the vet," said part-owner Kenny Rae, who trains the 5-year-old with his wife Lisa and their daughter Krystal Williams.
"I did have bigger hopes for him at one stage, but he's had a few issues and he's still a pretty handy horse."
Kaharau proved that on his home track at Ruakaka when he was successful in the Lawson Cartage Bream Bay Cup, the seventh win of his career.
The son of Ad Valorem had hinted at an early return to his best form when he finished a handy fifth when resuming at Ellerslie last month.
"I'd been very happy with him up until last week when he got a stone bruise and missed a gallop," Rae said.
"I was pretty sure the foot had come right, but you never really know until they get out there."
Kaharau was settled in the trail by rider Sam Collett and after they shouldered into the clear 2500m from home they sprinted clear to down Nailed It and Biologist.
"We'll probably stay around here for the Whangarei Cup toward the end of July and there's the Taumarunui Gold Cup as well," Rae said.
"One day he might even end up a jumper here."
Trainer has reservations about Ruakaka
John Morell's last trip to Ruakaka with Florence Jean was a successful one, but he's not overly confident of a similar result on their return this weekend.
The Te Rapa horseman has the filly in Saturday's Tavistock Owners' Syndicate 2YO, her first appearance after an enforced break and he's uncertain about her first-up prospects.
"I haven't done a lot with her," Morell said.
"She shows nothing at the track and there's really nothing to gallop her with here at Te Rapa.
"A bit of rain on Thursday and Friday would be ideal for her though and, hopefully, she can run third or fourth to pay for the trip and we can get a line on her. We'll make a plan after we see how she goes."
Florence Jean was a trial winner at Te Aroha before she was a runaway debut winner at Ruakaka in January. In her only other appearance she finished a luckless sixth in the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders' Stakes.
"She had issues with shin soreness and we tried to get her black type, but that didn't work out," Morell said.
"She got belted at the start and then ran on okay. She showed there that she might get further than 1200m.
"Hopefully, she's good enough to run in some of the nice 3-year-old races next season, otherwise it will be back to Rating 65s."
Florence Jean is a sister to the multiple winner Morse Code with their dam a half-sister to the Group Three winner Stickpin.
- NZ Racing Desk