Day At The Track

Mapua Legend a natural juvenile

01:00 PM 23 Jan 2009 NZDT
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Talented juvenile pacer Mapua Legend served notice of his readiness for the prestigious New Zealand Sapling Stakes at Ashburton on 7 February with another polished success at Addington tonight Friday 23 January.

An impressive winner of his debut at Winton in Central Southland on 20 December, he backed up by also confirming the worth of a recent trials success in extending his unbeaten sequence to two in the Trillian Trust Mobile Pace (1950m metres) tonight.

Successful driver Blair Orange paid the winner a big compliment when he said his manners were very good and that was a major component of what made a two year old on race day.

"He went very good again and he would have been okay parked as well as he can relax there good also,'' he added of the In The Pocket colt who trailed Kotare Mach early and led over the last 1150 metres.

Mapua Legend's trainer Jamie Gameson made an interesting observation when he pointed out how natural his latest star was.

"He only had about six weeks of serious training before he won his first start for me at Winton...He is doing it on his natural ability,'' he said.

"He is not screwed down yet but will be sharper for the Sapling Stakes and the Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham after that.''

Gameson and his wife Natalie prepared the colt for last year's PGG WrightsonYearling Sale in Christchurch for breeders Tom and Viv Fox, proprietors of the Saltwater Café, Nelson.

The youngster stripped his off foreleg in an unscheduled mishap before the sale but still went through the ring as a $36,000 buy back so as to be later eligible for Sales Series races and the like.

A son of the Albert Albert mare Ruby Bay, the winner is closely related to big winners Roman Gladiator (NSW Derby and NZ Sires' Stakes) and Scorching, winner of the New Brighton and Invercargill Cups and nine other races.

Driver Orange and trainer Gameson were adamant Mapua Legend's trip to Southland for his debut success was the makings of him and advanced his first preparation immeasurably.

"He is a wee professional now with a lot of natural ability,'' Gameson commented.

Meads Quaff, a son of Badlands Hanover in Dean Taylor's team, fought on resolutely for second ahead of favourite Kotare Mach who pulled a flat tyre for the last 1500 metres.

Kotare Mach was rough on the straight entrance bend the first time, also in the passing lane near the finish.

For all that, Kotare Mach showed plenty of ability and has the makings of a good horse with a little more experience.

Don Wright

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