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Tomelilla rises to the challenge at Wanganui

Tomelilla (blue and gold) downs She’s Poppy at Wanganui  - Race Images
Tomelilla (blue and gold) downs She’s Poppy at Wanganui

Race Images

Time has been the making of the valuable mare Tomelilla, who showed her fighting qualities at Wanganui to add to her black type record.

The daughter of Tavistock overcame unsuitable track conditions on Saturday to post a slender victory in the Listed Ag Challenge Stakes (1590m).

As a five-year-old, Tomelilla is at the top of her game and had headed south from her Cambridge quarters off the back of victory in the Gr.3 Rotorua Stakes (1400m).

“She’s been a slow maturing mare and she’s got better and better and now she’s made sharp progress this preparation,” said Andrew Forsman, who trains with Murray Baker.

“I’m not sure what we’ll do now, but obviously we’ll try to get more black type with her. I don’t think there’s any reason why we wouldn’t carry on with her.”

Tomelilla raced toward the back of the field before improving 800m from home and she finished resolutely for rider Troy Harris in the straight.

“He was niggling at her to get going and then it got tight for room, but she got the job done,” Forsman said.

Tomelilla shouldered her way between runners and got in the deciding stride to beat the local hope She’s Poppy. 

“She definitely wants rain on the day,” Harris said. “I wasn’t that confident, she was struggling with the track, but she’s very tough.”

Taurus ran third ahead of Ringo and the unlucky Scapolo, who was unable to get clear air until too late. 

Tomelilla’s barn mate Ambitious Winner completed a double for the stable when he won the closing event, the St Johns Club Celebrating 125 Years 1590m, while the third member of the travelling party Qiji Express was second in the Listed John Turkington Forestry Castletown Stakes (1200m).

“He’s a classy horse and he’ll keep for the better tracks in the spring,” Forsman said. – NZ Racing Desk.

Video replay: Tomelilla winning the Listed Ag Challenge Stakes (1590m)



 

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