With a powerful burst from the back of the field, Collect Your Cash (Rageese) delivered an unforgettable result for local horseman Shankar Muniandy in Saturday’s Listed Dunedin City Motors Dunedin Guineas (1500m) at Wingatui.
Muniandy has been a popular member of local jockey ranks for most of the last two decades, riding 237 winners in a career that started in the 2007-08 season. His seven black-type victories include the 2022 edition of the Dunedin Guineas with Palmetto.
While the 36-year-old has continued to ride in a handful of races this season, he is transitioning into training. He saddled his first runner in May 2022 and has now had nine winners from 68 career starters, headed by a very special first stakes success in Saturday’s Dunedin Guineas.
“I’ve been based here for a long time now, so I’m very pleased to win this race today,” Muniandy said.
Muniandy was mobbed by well-wishers after Saturday’s $100,000 feature, in which Collect Your Cash defied longshot odds of $23.50.
The Rageese gelding had shown bright talent in the spring, winning by almost four lengths on debut at Ascot Park in November and finishing second at Wingatui on Boxing Day – beaten by a long neck by Dunedin Guineas favourite Hakadecree.
Collect Your Cash was a respected $10 chance in the Listed Gore Guineas (1335m) in the third start of his career on January 20, but he faded from favour with a lacklustre eighth along the more rain-affected inside part of the track.
But Collect Your Cash bounced back in style on Saturday. Patiently ridden by Terry Moseley, Collect Your Cash settled second-last among the 14-horse field. The only runner behind him was Sugar, who had bucked soon after leaving the starting gates and was distantly detached from the field from that point on.
Collect Your Cash was still at the back of the pack at the home turn, but Moseley angled him to the outside and let him rip. He made up plenty of ground with big, powerful bounds down the straight and swept past Drakaina and Sense Of Timing to score an impressive win.
“He’s been a nice horse, right from the beginning,” Muniandy said. “Things went wrong for him last time, but I was very pleased with that performance today.
“I think, last time, they reckoned the track was off down on the inside, and the boy (Ruvanesh Muniandy) just got stuck there and he wasn’t able to let down. I told Terry today, ‘Don’t go inside, mate, if you can help it.’ He rode a good race and it was a very good performance.”
The win marked a successful return to the saddle for Moseley, who was having his first day riding since last September.
“In the last week or 10 days, I feel like I’ve been riding okay in work and it just feels like a progression,” he said. “I’m getting there.
“It’s good to win this race for Shankar. We’re good mates on and off the track. He’s a good bloke and just starting out as a trainer, and he’s obviously doing a very good job with the team he’s got. It’s nice to see some younger people coming into training and doing well.
“We had a bit of an awkward draw today in gate 12. He poked up a little bit along the fence coming up to the corner and I was tempted to go that way, but I think the ground is slightly off on the inside. So I decided to just bide my time and get to the outside to make our run in the straight. This horse is still a bit green yet, he did a few things wrong, so there’s good improvement in him.”
Collect Your Cash was bred by Windsor Park Stud and is a half-brother to the champion Singapore galloper Debt Collector, who won 12 races including eight at black-type level.
Bought for $4,500 on Gavelhouse.com in April of last year, Collect Your Cash has now earned $80,475 from a four-start career.