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Southern mare sees off northern raiders at Riccarton

Coulee (green/white silks) runs on to win the Gr. 3 Valachi Downs South Island Breeders’ Stakes 2-4-16 - Photo courtesy of Race Images South
Coulee (green/white silks) runs on to win the Gr. 3 Valachi Downs South Island Breeders’ Stakes 2-4-16

Photo courtesy of Race Images South

Pint sized mare Coulee made sure that the major spoils on offer at Riccarton on Saturday would remain in local hands as she saw off a pair of northern raiders in the Gr. 3 Valachi Downs South Island Breeders' Stakes (1600m).

The pint sized Gallant Guru mare made it three wins on end and six from just 15 career starts as she mowed down the Cambridge trained pair of El Sagrado and race favourite Charmont in the closing stages of a keenly run affair, courtesy of a perfect ride from apprentice Jacob Lowry. It capped a memorable day for Lowry who had earlier produced another gem when he guided Hexie Hao to victory in the Hororata Gold Cup.

Trainer Brian Anderton, who prepares the mare in partnership with son Shane, had an inkling his charge was ready to produce a career best effort after she completed her final gallop on Wednesday back at their Wingatui base.

"There's not much to her as she isn't much bigger than a pony but she has really gone from strength to strength in this campaign," he noted.

"She beat a couple of nice mares in a small field at Riverton last time where I thought she was pretty much spot on.

"Her work since then has been even better and when she came off the track on Wednesday her tail was up and she was pretty full of herself so my confidence increased after that."

Anderton was quick to pay tribute to Lowry who followed instructions to the letter throughout the race.

"We know she has a very powerful finishing burst so I did say to Jacob to try and get her one out in midfield if he could," he said.

"He got nicely on the back of the favourite and didn't panic when they started to swoop up around him on the home turn. Once he had her balanced and in the clear she really finished it off well."

Anderton will now send the mare to the spelling paddock as he contemplates her options for next season.

"I'm not really in favour of setting her for Cup Week at Riccarton as I think it can knock them around too early in the campaign and they train off pretty quickly," he said.

"I more inclined to wait until later in the summer where she can have a go at a race like the White Robe Lodge at home before we think about a North Island venture if she comes up well." – NZ Racing Desk