Outsider Dee And Gee, pictured, stunned the Riccarton crowd on Saturday as she registered her biggest career victory when winning the Listed Redwood Metropolitan Trophy (2500m).
The five-year-old Darci Brahma mare defied her rivals all the way down the long Riccarton home straight after rider Cameron Lammas sent her to the front with more than 1600m left to run in the contest.
Those who expected the $51 chance to weaken were sadly disappointed as she kept up a strong gallop to dispose of the well fancied northern raiders Felaar and Mental Telepathy. The run provided an eye-catching dress rehearsal for the mare’s next challenge, the Gr.3 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup (3200m).
“She was a handy sort of horse last season who I always thought would get a bit of distance,” co-trainer Peter Corbett said.
“She won over 2500m on Cup day last year, although this season she just hadn’t come up like I thought she would.
“I thought he (Lammas) went too early but I didn’t know how she was travelling on the Slow8 track, but obviously she handled it well.”
Rated an $81 chance in the Fixed Odds market for the New Zealand Cup prior to the win, Dee And Gee now sits at $21 with the Hastings-trained High Spirits installed favourite at $5.
Earlier in the day underrated Woodville galloper Casaquinman sprang another upset when he dashed home to win the Listed Yesberg Insurance Services Pegasus Stakes (1000m).
The Shane Brown-trained gelding was having his first start in a new campaign after finishing mid-field in the Autumn Sprint Championship (1200m) final at Trentham in May.
The Per Incanto six-year-old possesses a powerful finishing burst and he put that to good effect as he chimed in out wide in the home straight to clear out from the chasing pack.
“We targeted Cup week from the time we turned him out,” Brown said.
“When a plan comes off it is fantastic.
“Full credit to Dylan (Turner) as he has made a huge effort to get down to the 53.5kg so that shows you what he thinks of this horse.”
Rider Dylan Turner produced an ecstatic whip flourish at the finish post after claiming victory and was still on a high when interviewed after the race.
“He’s a lovely horse who makes you look good,” he said.
“The weight (53kg) was hard for me but I’ve known for a month now so I have had time to prepare for it.
“I was a little bit scared coming in to a race like this fresh but it just proves what he can do.”
Casaquinman holds a nomination for Wednesday’s Gr.3 Lindauer Stewards Stakes (1200m) with Brown indicating he would take his place in the field provided he pulls up well from his weekend exertions.