Chattahoochee chasing further family honours in Easter

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  • April 10, 2024
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Chattahoochee chasing further family honours in Easter

Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Consecutive victories have propelled Chattahoochee toward his first crack at a black-type feature.

The patiently handled son of Reliable Man has fashioned a tidy record with those recent successes prompting Debbie Sweeney to set her sights on Saturday week’s Gr.3 Manco Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie.

“Out of his last seven starts, he’s won five of them and keeps on improving so he’s going to head to the Easter and his biggest test,” the Te Awamutu-based trainer said.

“He’s obviously a progressive horse who hasn’t done anything wrong.”

Sweeney will be hoping to turn back the Easter clock, as her family has a winning association with the prestigious mile.

“We won it with Pasta Post and with Magic Winner, that was a fair while ago,” she said.

Pasta Post was successful in the 2008 edition for her father Graeme Sanders and late brother Mark while Debbie was training in partnership with her father when Magic Winner saluted in 2001.

“It would be lovely to win it again, it’s just a shame it’s a Group Three race now. It’s gone from Group One to Two and now Three,” she said.

“It’s still a nice race and the money is up ($150,000) and hopefully the horse goes well, Mr (Bryan) Black has a share in the horse and he’s sponsoring the race and has done for the last few years.”

Black races Chattahoochee with Lisa Anderson and the five-year-old has proven an outstanding investment after he was purchased for $8250 from breeder The Oaks Stud via the Gavelhouse platform.

With six wins from 12 appearances on all types of ground, his stake earnings have topped $157,000.

Most recently, Chattahoochee was successful at Tauranga and then defeated Hat Trick, who had won his previous three starts, at Pukekohe when carrying 60kg.

He was ridden on both occasions by the in-form stable apprentice Ngakau Hailey.

“He’s kept stepping up and it was a very good effort last Saturday,” Sweeney said.

“He didn’t draw great and was out three wide and he got the other horse in the last stride, it was a very good, tough effort to do that.

“It was a good ride by Ngakau as well, he had to change the stick over to keep him straight.

“The other horse had run out as well so he would probably have got it on protest regardless.”

Sweeney has also been pleased by the progress of the promising Savile Row four-year-old MacFire, winner of three of his 10 starts, who will resume at Te Rapa on Sunday.

“He has trialled really well at Tauranga and we’re happy with him,” she said.

“He’ll run in the Rating 75 over 1200m, obviously his best distance is 1400m, but he has to kick off somewhere and we’d like some rain for him heading into the weekend.

“We’re very happy with him and she should be in for a nice winter.”

In the meantime, attention will focus on Wednesday’s meeting at Ellerslie where the stable will be represented by Arkadus in the Eagle Technology Maiden (2100m).

“It would be nice to get a win with him before he heads for a spell. He’s well-bred being out of Fanatic (Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks, 2400m) and he’s gone a couple of nice races without any luck,” Sweeney said.

“He’s got a senior jockey back on and Lynsey (Satherley) knows him so hopefully he’ll be a good chance.”


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