The confidence exuded by Cambridge trainer Roger James proved totally justified at Ellerslie today when his smart filly Avisto completed a hat trick of stakes wins.
Following on from wins in the Listed Graeme Thomson Jewellers Great Northern Foal Stakes at Ellerslie last May and the Listed O’Leary’s Fillies Stakes’ at Wanganui fresh-up for James at Wanganui earlier this month, Avista was a class above her opposition in today’s Listed $50,000 Allied Workforce Soliloquy Stakes (1400m).
“I’ve never been more confident going into a stakes race as I was with this filly,” said James as he watched Noel Harris return to the winner’s enclosure on Avista.
“Her work this week has been superb and looking through the field I couldn’t see anything in the race that could beat her.”
Avisto was backed as unbeatable, starting as the $1.80 favourite, and Harris rode her a treat, settling her second outside the leader and giving her as soft a run as possible.
Though the field closed around her early in the home straight, Harris, in his usual cool, calm and collected style, held her together and gave her just enough rein at the crucial stage to edge ahead and take the race by three-quarters of a length from Choice, who fought bravely.
“She’s pretty classy,” said Harris afterwards. “She jumped good today and I was a bit worried there would not be a lot of pace on. She was working a bit early on but at the 700 she came back to me. She did it easily.”
Avisto is raced by Challenge Racehorse Syndications Ltd and has now recorded three wins and two placings from seven starts.
The daughter of Cambridge Stud sire Tavistock will now head to Te Rapa for the Gr. 3 $70,000 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes at Te Rapa on October 27. Her main goal is the Gr. 1 NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas at Riccarton a few weeks later.
Avista was the first Ellerslie cause for celebrations at Cambridge Stud and a race later the reason for toasting the sire Tavistock doubled as the Ruakaka-trained Volkstok’n’barrell won the Gr. 3 Manuka Doctor Bonecrusher Stakes from Passing Shot.
- Cambridge JC