Patience has proven a big virtue for 3-year-old Cooga Doon, as the Marton-trained horse blitzed the rest of the field to win the $50,000 HS Dyke Wanganui Guineas over 1340m by nine lengths on Saturday.

Earlier in the day in the O'Leary's Fillies Stakes 1200m at the Wanganui Racecourse, Marton trainer Fraser Auret and Whanganui jockey Lisa Allpress had only just missed out on victory after Trifolium ran second to Hastings' Riva Capri by half a head.

But in the feature Listed Race, there were no mistakes made as Cooga Doon swiftly moved to the outside of Cambridge's second-favourite Sai Fah (Danielle Johnson) to take the lead on the back stretch, while Stratford's Blue Rata Eligius (Rosie Myers) came up behind them.

As Cooga Doon moved down to the rail at the turn, Cambridge's Checkers (Matthew Cameron) started to go wide hunting for second place, but if the chasers thought they would line out and run the leader down, they did not have a prayer.


Cooga Doon kicked, and then kicked again as his lead just continued to grow and grow, proving far too good as the entire rest of the nine horse field were reduced to also-rans, winning on a track that had overnight rain in 1m 25.6s

In the final push, Shai Fah came home a close second, with Blue Rata Eligius another four lengths back in third.

Winning trainer Fraser Auret, right, is interviewed by Trackside TV.
Winning trainer Fraser Auret, right, is interviewed by Trackside TV.

"That's a brilliant trophy," said owner Gavin O'Dea as the Guineas prize was handed to him in front of the main grandstand.

"We're obviously delighted with that win.

"Fraser and the team were quite confident we would win, but not by nine lengths.

"Let's hope this horse can go on with it in the future."

Cooga Doon had started as clear favourite until the punters swung some late money to Shai Fah to close the gap.

That made two impressive wins on the trot for the Bay gelding, sired by Makfi out of Monachee.


After the ceremony, O'Dea praised Auret for taking the-then highly strung 2-year-old off to race meetings a couple of times without competing, just so Cooga Doon could get acclimatised to being in that environment.

This helped the prospect calm down and get the attitude right.

"It worked, that was a spectacular win. We're rapt," said O'Dea.

"Until they do it on the track, you don't really know.

"We like to beat the northern horses, obviously."

Auret said all Cooga Doon needed was a little bit more maturity so he could relax.

"He has been a beautiful horse right from the start.

"I was sort of really happy with how all three horses prepared for today."

Allpress thanked the Marton trainer for giving her the nod.

"It was a late decision and I do feel for my friend Jonathan Parkes, as he was booked for this ride.

"Hopefully I get to ride him again, he's a professional horse."