An aggressive display of front running riding by Lisa Allpress paved the way for lightly raced three-year-old Press Charges (Press Statement x Max It Out) to upset the applecart when taking the Listed ILT Ascot Park Hotel Southland Guineas (1600m) at odds of better than $21.
Betting in the race was dominated by last start Listed Dunedin Guineas (1500m) winner Specialty ($1.90) and he looked the goods when he was hustled to the early lead by rider Brandon May.
Allpress found herself shunted out three-wide at the 800m mark and pressed forward as her saddle appeared to shift slightly underneath her.
Allpress went for glory at the 500m and despite being challenged by Specialty at the 300m, the Terri Rae-trained runner clung gamely to his lead to score by just on a length from the favourite with Tough Time battling gamely for third.
Bred by Ben Kwok, Press Charges is a son of Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) winner Press Statement and Northern Meteor mare Max It Out. He is raced by Lau Hing Fai and Cambridge trainer Ben Foote and is now unbeaten in two starts, a fact that Foote is delighted with as he looks to a possible sale in the future.
“He was good enough to win two trials here in the north and we thought he was a perfect type to trade,” Foote said.
“As it turned out there wasn’t much interest in him so I thought the best plan was to see if we could win a nice race down in the South Island and see if that sparked something.
“Terri had told me his work since he won his maiden had been very good and we did have plenty of confidence he could go a good race although Specialty looked pretty tough to beat.
“I was watching the race on television and wondered what Lisa was doing when she went forward, but when I saw the finish the number cloth was over his bum, so the saddle must have shifted on her.
“It certainly wasn’t the tactics I thought were going to be used but as it turned out he was really brave and even kicked away at the end.”
Foote will wait for a full report from Rae before deciding on the next plan of attack for the horse, but is hoping the phone will start ringing with offers on him.
“He is definitely on the market so it would be nice to get him away if we can,” Foote said.
“We bought a number of yearlings at the sales recently so getting some money in rather than out would be nice.”
Foote was disappointed that his promising three-year-old Loosespender had to be scratched from the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) at Pukekohe today but is still planning to pay a late nomination fee for the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Te Rapa in a fortnight.
“Loosespender had a slightly elevated temperature so scratching him was just a precaution,” he said.
“He is on target for the Derby so we will look to pay the late nomination fee and roll the dice with him as I think he deserves a shot at the race the way he has come on in this prep.” – NZ Racing Desk