The in-foal mare A Touch of Ruby capped her career with a 48-1 upset in the Harcourts Thorndon Mile (NZ-I) Jan. 25 at Trentham Racecouse.
A 4-year-old daughter of Pins
, the Stephen Autridge trainee saved ground early on the rail before jockey Craig Grylls angled her wide on the home turn. She quickened smartly in the straight to overhaul recent Trentham winner Costume
and win by a length in 1:34.53 on a good course, earning her first stakes victory.
missed the break and heavily backed Rich Hill Mile (NZ-II) winner Chintz
lost her rider moments after the start. Group I winner Survived
, Savour The Moment
, and Jetset Lad
were prominent behind the riderless Chintz, who led the 16-horse field.
Nearing the home turn in a line of six abreast with Chintz on the rail, Sacred Star and Zurella asserted themselves first, then Costume made her bid. But A Touch of Ruby was full of run in the final 200 meters and stormed down the outside to snatch the victory.
Sacred Star finished third, and Zurella checked in fourth.
"We were hoping she could finish in the first four home, so to win the race is a dream come true," Autridge, who conditions A Touch of Ruby for Sydney-based owner Max Whitby, told www.racenet.au
A Touch of Ruby, who is in foal to New Zealand Horse of the Year Jimmy Choux
, closes her career with a 4-3-1 record from 16 career starts. She was bred in New Zealand by Trelawney Thoroughbred out of the Traditionally mare Syrah, a half sister to 2004 Queensland Oaks (Aus-I) winner Vouvray. Her victory was a boost to the catalog page of her Savabeel
half sister, who will be offered next week in the Trelawney Stud consignment at the New Zealand Bloodstock premier yearling sale.
Grylls enjoyed a group double on the card, returning two races later to win the Wellington Cup (NZ-II) with Graphic. The 5-year-old Volksraad gelding spurted past pacesetter Skysoblue 200 meters out for a one-length triumph, with favorite Guns At Five a neck back in third.
Entering with four wins from his five previous starts, Graphic was timed in 2:29.30 for 2,400 meters (about 1 1/2 miles). He earned his first stakes win for Michael Moroney and Chad Ormsby, who train him for breeder C. S. Grace.
More Than Sacred, winner of last season's New Zealand Oaks (NZ-I), was never a threat and finished ninth.