(By John Jenkins)
An inspired betting plunge on Te Rapa-trained filly Flaunting proved right on the mark when the Showcasing filly out-toughed her rivals in today’s Listed $50,000 John Turkington Forestry Castletown Stakes at Wanganui.
TAB bookmaker Thad Taylor revealed before today’s Wanganui meeting commenced that there had been several sizeable bets placed on Flaunting for the feature event and a win by her was going to be a bad result for them. She had been at double-figure odds early in the week but was backed into third favourite on the tote at $6.30.
Flaunting was having her first start since beating one home in the Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 26 but had indicated she was ready to run a big race with an impressive trial win over 800m at Avondale on May 14.
Trainer David Greene said before today’s race that Flaunting is probably best suited by rain affected tracks but was unsure how she would get through the very testing heavy-11 conditions that horses had to endure at Wanganui today.
He said the plan was for rider Sam Spratt to settle the filly back off the pace in the early stages and then pick a path through the field.
Spratt followed the instructions to the letter, letting the speedsters go hard in front in the early stages before weaving a passage to lodge a challenge inside the last 300m.
It came down to a three-horse slog to the line with Flaunting stretching the neck out to get a long head victory over She’s A Lady, with Jager Bombed only a head back in third.
The extremely heavy track conditions were clearly evidenced by the fact that the winner’s time for the 1200m was 1:20.73, which is more like a 1400m time.
Asked about the betting plunge on Flaunting, Greene said some of the large group of owners in the horse had backed her quite heavily in the Karaka Million and may have got their money back today and a bit more.
Flaunting is by Showcasing out of the Elusive City mare Acapela, who won four races and was stakes placed. She was successful on tracks ranging from good to slow.
Greene has always had a high opinion of Flaunting and the filly had shown plenty of ability earlier in the season with a second on debut over 1200m at Te Rapa followed by a strong win over 1200m at Matamata.
“It was a really tough win today,” Greene said.
“She had to go back and pick a path but Sammy (Spratt) is good at that and it was a very gutsy win.”
Asked what the future holds for Flaunting now Greene said: “If she can handle a track like that one out there we might as well push on to the Ryder now.”
The Listed $50,000 Ryder Stakes (1200m) will be run at Otaki on July 27.