Dougie gives Chris Johnson an arnchair ride in the J Swap Contractors 1600 at Te Rapa.
Dougie became a readymade travelling companion for his high profile stablemate Hiflyer when he easily accounted for his rivals in the J Swap Contractors 1600 at Te Rapa today.
With Hiflyer already confirmed for a Sydney campaign following his impressive fresh-up win last month, it was up to Dougie to prove that he also warranted a transtasman airfare – and he did so in style.
Off a solid tempo up front, Chris Johnson was able to find a cosy trail for the Peter Lock-trained gelding, who had plenty in reserve for the business end of the race. In no time Dougie had taken control and he drew clear to win by three and a quarter lengths from The Kipling Girl and He’s Cavalier.
“I’m pretty sure he’ll be heading to Australia after that,” so it’s exciting times ahead,” said Lock, who races the son of Keeper in partnership with breeder Bob Emery and Darren Lukas.
“He’s a horse that we’ve had to be patient with, but he’s just got better and better this time in.”
While there are no concrete plans for Dougie should he be confirmed for Sydney, Lock has already earmarked next Saturday’s A$150,000 Winter Stakes at Rosehill as Hiflyer’s campaign opener.
“He’s done everything right since his Ruakaka win, we’re very happy with him,” the Te Aroha conditioner said of the talented Tavistock gelding.
Today’s success took Dougie’s record to four wins from 19 starts, and having already proven himself over a middle-distance he shouldn’t be hard to place in progressive Sydney ranks.
Before today Johnson had not ridden a winner for Lock, but he made no bones about addressing that anomaly in typical no-fuss style.
With a deficit of 18 wins to table topper Sam Collett, he has virtually no chance of defending his 2016-17 premiership title, but it has been another very rewarding season for the South Island veteran, who notched his eighth century at Ashburton during the week.