Sticking to the inside rail, Lisa Allpress gets Dez home for an easy Winter Classic win.
Lisa Allpress made the most of an inside draw to bring Dez home for an easy win in the Christchurch Casino Winter Classic, the feature flat event on the final day of the Grand National carnival.
Drawing gate two not only offered the shortest way home for Dez in the 1800-metre race, but more importantly it gave the still green seven-year-old a guiding hand around the big track.
“He still does a lot wrong,” commented Allpress, with the big gelding’s unlucky third in last Saturday’s Winter Cup still fresh in mind. “From that draw I was always going to follow the rail as he needs a bit of help.
“Having the fence made it that much easier, I was able to concentrate on getting the best out of him instead of having to worry so much about him trying some of his tricks.”
Allpress settled Dez behind the pace and stayed hard up against the inside rail on the point of the term while the rest of the big field fanned across the track. He was clearly in front with 300 metres to run and straight as an arrow, he hit the line two and half lengths clear of Platinum Command, with a nose to Elfee and a long neck to fourth placegetter Strolling Vagabond.
Dez, a son of Zed who spent nearly three years away from racing with tendon problems, is trained by Waipukurau farmer and showjumping rider Simon Wilson. The Winter Classic was his eighth win from just over 50 starters since his first in the 2012-13 season and stands alongside the Whyte Handicap that Dez won at Trentham last month.
“That’s the best way to finish off a great week,” Wilson said. “He’s taken a bit of time but he’s getting better and better with more ringcraft as he’s been a bit green.”