Cambridge visitors take opening double at Otaki

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  • April 02, 2024
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Cambridge visitors take opening double at Otaki

Kevin Robertson, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

The visiting Cambridge stable of Ben and son Ryan Foote were to the fore in the opening events at Otaki on Monday, where they took out the first two races on the programme.

Three-year-old maiden filly Alation proved too tough for her rivals in race one, dashing away in the home straight for rider Courtney Barnes despite having done plenty of work outside pacemaker Am I Blue in the 1600m contest.

Just thirty minutes later, her stablemate Enthusiastic claimed his maiden victory after setting all the pace in the Harcourts Otaki 3YO (1200m), before holding out the late charge by Tiny Diamond to win by just on a length for apprentice rider Triston Moodley.

A change in tactics to make use of a good draw made all the difference for Alation, who Ben Foote believes has plenty in store for her.

“She (Alation) had been getting back and running on late, so we put the side winkers on today and asked Courtney to make use of a better draw if she could,” Foote said.

“It was a brave effort as she had to do the work outside the pace and the way she closed things off suggests she isn’t going to have trouble with going a little further in the future.

“We have always thought she was a potential stayer but as this is just her first prep, we will play it on the cautious side, and she will tell us how much further she wants to go.”

Foote also believes that Enthusiastic has a future over a staying trip once he matures further.

“He (Enthusiastic) went good races in strong company in his first campaign, but he needed time to mature,” he said.

“I think he has a future as a stayer and that’s where we will aim him.

“It was a good effort as he hadn’t even had a jump-out before today, but Triston said he won with a lot up his sleeve despite being a little green over the last 200m.

“We initially thought he might be a Derby horse but that came up too soon so we will take him along quietly and just see how he develops.”

Raced by her breeder Gerry Harvey, Alation is by Westbury Stud resident stallion Swiss Ace and comes from an extended family that includes dual Group One winner Atomic Force who was successful in the 2012 Gr.1 Railway Handicap (1200m) at Ellerslie.

Purchased by Brewers Bloodstock for $60,000 out of his breeders’ Berkley Stud draft at Karaka in 2022, Enthusiastic is a son of War Decree and Savabeel mare Enthusabelle, and is the half-brother to Pipiana who was twice stakes placed as a three-year-old.

The Foote team were at it again in the fourth race on the card with No Nay Never mare Carrington storming home out wide to break her maiden status at her ninth start.


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