There was no rest on the Sabbath for Jamie Richards despite having plenty to celebrate after a history making Saturday of racing.
Richards, who was not on hand to see Melody Belle record her ninth Group One win and become the first horse to win the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown, flew back from Sydney on Saturday night after Probabeel and Te Akau Shark both finished runner-up in their respective Group One tests at Randwick.
The Te Akau trainer then travelled to Te Teko on Sunday with four runners and came up trumps with Trelawney Stud graduate Prise de Fer in the HJ Asmuss Kawarau 1400m.
Four-year-old gelding Prise De Fer was second-up this campaign having run third at Taupo last month. The addition of blinkers and a patient ride from Opie Bosson worked a treat with the son of Savabeel running on strongly from the rear of the field to beat Verbalizer by a head, with stablemate Meteoric Lass taking third place.
Richards has plans to travel south with Prise de Fer targeting the Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton next month.
“We do like him, we like to think he could be good enough to get to the Coupland’s in November,” he said.
“To be fair he did have to win today and he got there and did the job nicely on ground that is slightly beyond him.”
“He will continue to improve a bit further into his preparation.
“It was a well-timed ride from Opie and as I said this morning the staff have really stepped up when I have been doing all the travelling and the horses are in really good order.”
Richards will wait to see how Prise de Fer comes through Sunday’s win before confirming a path to his Group Two goal.
“He probably needs to get his rating up a little bit higher so he could get on the truck and go down nice and early,” Richards said.
“We will just see, we will get home and have a look at him, he is a little bit fine and not the best eater but he has a good action and natural ability.”
Bred by Raffles Dancers Pty, Prise de Fer was purchased by David Ellis when consigned by Trelawney Stud at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale. He has now won two of his eight starts and has been placed on three further occasions. -Trelawney Stud