Last year’s runner-up Asathought (So You Think x Asavant) avenged her narrow defeat in the Listed Carriers Arms Hotel Riverton Cup (2147m) when she produced a dogged finish to claim the 2023 version of the traditional Riverton Easter weekend feature.
Unsighted since finishing amongst the back markers in the Gr.3 Wellington Cup (3200m) in January, the Lisa Vaughan-trained six-year-old thrived on the Heavy8 rated surface in the hands of regular pilot Corey Campbell.
Campbell bided his time in midfield before seeking inside runs with 1000m to run as the pressure went on upfront as pacemakers Wannabe In Paris and Kilowatt were joined by Prince Alby, who injected plenty of speed into the contest.
That played right into the hands of Asathought as she set out after the locally trained Kilowatt, who had gone clear at the 300m sporting the sponsor’s colours and to the roar of the huge on-course crowd.
In a never-say-die effort Asathought thrust her head in front to defeat Kilowatt with Choux In closing off nicely to claim third.
Campbell felt he was on the best stayer in the race and when the pace increased approaching the home corner his confidence levels grew.
“It is a race where they generally go hard in front and I knew I was on the best stayer in the field and that is how it has worked out,” Campbell said.
“Lisa said to me to make good use of her inside (1) barrier and not to go too early.
“When they fanned out wide coming to the corner, I was pretty confident we were in with a huge chance.
“She is just so genuine and she deserved that after just getting beaten last year.”
Campbell advised it was likely Asathought would now tackle the Gr.3 Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m) later this month at Riccarton, a race where she also finished second last year.
The victory provided Campbell with the first leg of a winning treble as he took out the last two races aboard Inflamed and Kid Roc.
The win was the first at stakes level for Asathought and the seventh of her 37-start career, although she had been stakes placed on four previous occasions including her runner-up finish to Prise De Fer in the Canterbury Gold Cup in 2022.
Bred and raced by Willie and Karen Calder, Asathought is out of their stakes winning Zabeel mare Asavant who was also placed in the 2013 Gr.1 International Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa and is the dam of nine-time Group One winner Avantage. – NZ Racing Desk