New York Minute (Lisa Allpress) claimed a deserved first stakes win in the Tauranga Classic.
Champion trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman hit another high in their landmark season today as New York Minute headed a stable trifecta in the Listed Woburn Farm Tauranga Classic.
The Cambridge pair set a new national record with 114 victories during the 2014-15 season, but they have shattered that mark this year with a total that now stands at 132.
Their New Zealand runners have earned more than $4.2 million in prize-money, and today’s $50,000 fillies and mares’ feature was their 19th win at stakes level – along with further black-type victories in Melbourne from Bonneval, Jon Snow and Weather With You.
New York Minute is a recent addition to the Baker/Forsman team, having been previously trained by Ilone Kelly in New Plymouth for five wins and six stakes placings, including a second placing behind Underthemoonlight in last year’s Tauranga Classic.
The Iffraaj mare’s first start from her new stable was a spectacular performance at Trentham two weeks ago, winning by 11 and a half lengths, and today she went to a new level with her first stakes victory.
While tearaway front-runner Rich Billie Marsh performed her usual role way out in front, New York Minute led the chasing pack and pulled them forward to close the gap on Rich Billie Marsh down the side of the track.
New York Minute hit the lead at the top of the straight, but was quickly challenged on both sides by her stablemates Deals In Heels and Tomelilla.
With rider Lisa Allpress urging her on, New York Minute lifted again and pulled clear to win by three-quarters of a length from Deals In Heels. Tomelilla held third by a nose from the fast-finishing Art Deco, with defending champion Underthemoonlight a close fifth.
“I’m just rapt with how all three mares have performed,” Forsman said. “The second and third horses have gone very well.
“New York Minute really had to lift, and it was a gutsy effort. I think it was a case of her being the biggest, strongest mare.
“She’d trained on very well since her win at Trentham. Trina and Jonathan Riddell have done a great job with her. She’s a big girl and not the easiest to keep sound, so I can’t thank them enough.”
New York Minute is raced by the Kelly family, who bought her for just $15,000 as a weanling at Karaka in 2013.
A five-year-old daughter of Iffraaj, New York Minute has now had 23 starts for seven wins, six placings and more than $170,000.
New York Minute placed in the Gr. 3 Winter Cup at Riccarton at the beginning of this season, but Baker and Forsman may set their sights higher in the first five weeks of the 2018/19 term.
“We wouldn’t necessarily go back to Riccarton again – if you go down there, it can be hard to press on much further with your preparation afterwards,” Forsman said.
“We’ll see what the owners what to do. She’s won a stakes race for them now, which is the main thing.
“The first Group One of the season (Tarzino Trophy at Hastings on September 1) is absolutely a possibility. Murray and I have discussed that already, and we could think about keeping her fresh to have a go at the Foxbridge Plate (August 18) and then Hastings.”
Runner-up Deals In Heels picked up her third stakes placing in her last five starts, having chased home Indecision in the Listed NZB Finance Sprint and her stablemate Tomelilla in the Gr. 3 Rotorua Stakes.
Like the winner, Deals In Heels is a daughter of Haunui Farm shuttle stallion Iffraaj. Four-year-old Deals In Heels has now had 14 starts for five wins, six placings and more than $129,000 in stakes.
Tomelilla had won the Gr. 3 Rotorua Stakes and Listed Ag Challenge Stakes in her previous two starts, and today’s third placing lifted her prize-money earnings past $170,000.