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Emily heads winning Saturday

Emily Margaret headed  a Trelawney graduate double on Saturday, with Special Light, who runs in the Trelawney silks, adding a further victory to the tally.

A trip north to contest the Gr.2 Norwood Family Wellington Guineas (1400m) at Trentham beckons for multiple stakes-winning filly Emily Margaret after a dominant on-speed victory at Wingatui in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m).

Ridden by Robert Hannam, the Central Districts rider took luck out of the equation, venturing straight to the front on Emily Margaret from barrier 14 and never looked like being beaten. 

The Kevin and Pam Hughes-trained galloper scored by two-and-a-half lengths from Dreamtesta, with northern visitor Naval Fleet landing some black-type in finishing a long neck away in third.   

“I was very, very pleased with her and Robbie did a great job,” Hughes said

“We thought we could just grind them all into the ground and that is what she did. 

“She was very, very fit and was just too good on the day.”

Hughes said he was not sure what the strength of the Wellington Guineas field would be but he was keen to give his filly a chance at adding a Group Two to her record. 

“She seems to have come through the race very well and we will have a look at the Wellington Guineas. The travel doesn’t seem to worry her,” Hughes said.

Emily Margaret, who was purchased out of Trelawney Stud's 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock draft for $55,000, has had an extensive three-year-old preparation, which started back in September with victory in the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m), a leg of the NZB Southern Filly Of The Year Series. 

Saturday’s contest was the second leg of the series, meaning the daughter of Pins has the maximum points, with the next leg being the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton on April 6. 

“I think 1400m is her pet distance,” Hughes said.

“You might get away with a mile as a three-year-old. If she had someone like Robbie riding, she could steal a mile race, so we might do that third leg, we’ll just see what happens at Wellington.”

At Ellerslie Gundown bounced back to form to win the Headquarters Viaduct Nathans Memorial (2200m).

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained four-year-old travelled midfield for most of the running before being asked to move forward with 800m left to go by jockey Matthew Cameron.

The son of High Chaparral was a touch green on the straight but ran on nicely to win by one-and-a-half lengths.

Gundown was knocked down to bloodstock agent Bruce Perry for $70,000 at the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales when consigned by Trelawney Stud on behalf of breeders Raffles Dancers.

In the final race of the day at Ellerslie Special Light completed a hat trick of wins when successful in the Vertical Logistics 2100m.

Raced by Brent and Cherry Taylor in partnership with Brent's mother Faith Taylor, Special Light dictated the running during the race under a confident ride from Samantha Collett.

The four-year-old daughter of Redoute's Choice held off a challenge from eventual runner-up Fiscal Fantasy to score a deserved win and the Tony Pike-trained mare looks to be a staying prospect that improves with each start. -NZ Racing Desk/Trelawney Stud