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  • 18th - March - 2017
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  • Matamata three-year-old Gingernuts (NZ) (Iffraaj) has made an immediate impression in Australia and continued a dominant Kiwi trend by becoming the fourth New Zealand-trained horse in seven years to win the Group One Rosehill Guineas.

    Well fancied at $6.50, the New Zealand Derby winnermade his Australian debut in yesterday’s 2000 metre race, run in heavy conditions, and defeated $3 favourite Inference (So You Think) by 2¼ lengths, joining Jimmy Choux (NZ) (Thorn Park), Dundeel (NZ) (High Chaparral) an Volkstok’n’barrell (NZ) (Tavistock) as recent New Zealand-trained winners of the race.

    The Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained gelding needs to be a late entry for the Australian Derby but Richards confirmed the run in the 2400 metre classic at Randwick in two weeks, with Gingernutsnow $4.60 favourite. “He’s going to be awfully hard to beat in a couple of weeks’ time,"Richards said.Richards felt Gingernuts had kept improving since the New Zealand Derby and the drop in distance to 2000 metres yesterday was countered by the testing conditions.

    “It’s a huge buzz. I’m really pleased for the team at home,” Richards said. “David Ellis bought the horse at the Ready To Run sales and didn’t pay a lot for him. We syndicated him amongst some clients of ours and they’re having a whirlwind ride.” Gingernuts carries Ellis’s Te Akau colours, with Ellis the managing owner of a syndicate which races the gelding. Some of the 42 members were trackside, wearing specially made orange caps to match the horse’s colours. “We flew over for the day. We’ve actually got to leave in 45 minutes,” said Craig Saunders, one of a handful of owners who made a flying visit from Auckland. “Most of us are booked to come over for the Aussie Derby in a couple of weeks. It was a little spur of the moment to come over today but we thought we’re on a hell of a ride and it doesn’t happen very often.” Jockey Opie Bosson settled Gingernuts well back before making his run around the field from the 800 metre mark. Gingernuts reeled in leader Harper’s Choice (Street Cry) inside the final 200 metres and, despite tiring late, had a comfortable margin over Inference on the line with $20 shot So Si Bon (So You Think) another short half-head away third.

    “He jumped slow and got a bit of a squeeze but he got into a nice rhythm throughout the race and I knew I had a fit horse under me,” Bosson said. “He still wasn’t a hundred per cent happy in the ground but all the way up the straight he just had his ears pricked, looking around. “He’s a pretty good horse and getting better. The way he’s stepped up has just been incredible.”

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