Kylie Williams celebrates as Global Thinking races away with the Southland Guineas.
Global Thinking made it look easy as she delivered her trainer Shaune Ritchie his second Southland Guineas and rider Kylie Williams a summer guineas double with an easy win in today’s Ascot Park feature.
Back in 1995, in just his third season training, Cambridge-based Ritchie won the Southland Guineas with The Hyatt. That was five years after experiencing his first taste of southern hospitality as Bonecrusher’s strapper when the horse known as Big Red won the White Robe Lodge Handicap at Wingatui.
Ritchie put Global Thinking on the road to contest the southern three-year-old circuit after he assessed her being slightly inferior to her northern contemporaries and now it’s a case of mission accomplished.
“She’s owned by a group of Australians who to their credit took note when I identified that she was a couple of lengths off the best northern fillies,” Ritchie told www.theinformant.co.nz. “They agreed for her to go south and now she’s won a stakes race.
“The other really satisfying thing about today’s win was the part that Sean Bellew has played in the filly’s campaign down there. Sean hasn’t had the best of health for a while and he isn’t training any more, but he’s still got his stablehand’s licence and he’s been caring for the filly the whole way through.
“I couldn’t have done a better job, and the only disappointing part is that with my commitments at home I’m not down there to help celebrate the win.”
Global Thinking’s southern raid began with a sixth placing in the Gore Guineas, followed by a second – again behind fellow northern filly Excelleration – in the Dunedin Guineas. The absence of Excelleration from today’s Ascot Park Hotel Southland Guineas robbed the 1600-metre race from some interest, but that should not detract from the winner’s performance.
Kylie Williams, pinch-hitter for the suspended Samantha Collett in Excelleration’s Gore Guineas win, today let Global Thinking find her feet in last place early before tracking wide behind improving runners through the middle stages.
Ranging wide on the home turn, the $2.70 favourite had the race at her mercy and raced clear to score easily from co-pacemaker The Sparkle and Courte Zarindi, who had a chequered run when finishing strongly through the field for third.
“I got onto the three-wide train with cover down the side,” said Williams. “It all worked out and she won very well in the end.”
Ritchie plans to give Global Thinking one more start on her current campaign in the NZB Insurance Stakes at Wingatui on March 3, when she is expected to clash with Excelleration.
“That should be interesting the way my filly has improved with every start and has really hit her straps now,” Ritchie said.
“She can come home then and we’ll decide a programme, but given she’s by So You Think from a General Nediym mare and is now a stakes winner, her future as a broodmare is assured.”
Today’s other Ascot Park feature, the Sheet Metalcraft Invercargill Gold Cup, produced an emotional result when local stayer Taniwha raced away in the hands of Jillian Morris to beat Dee And Gee and He Ain’t Heavy.
The Jim Curran-trained son of Gallant Guru was co-bred by popular southern horseman Kelly Thompson, who died last September in his 80th year and whose estate continues to race Taniwha.
Stepping up from a last-start Rating 75 win at Gore, Taniwha added his name to an Invercargill Gold Cup honour roll that includes Thompson’s mighty stayer Old Thymer, who gave him his most famous win as a trainer in the 1996 New Zealand Cup.