Remarkable gelding Scapolo picked up the 20th win of his career, and his seventh at Riccarton, when he took out today’s $40,000 Norwood Farm Machinery Premier Sprint.
The Bachelor Duke gelding has been venturing south from his Wanganui base ever since the spring of his two-year-old season in 2011, when he finished third in the Listed Welcome Stakes.
Scapolo has had another 20 starts at the Christchurch track in subsequent seasons, collecting victories in the Gr. 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile, the Gr. 3 Canterbury Gold Cup, the Listed Great Easter Stakes and three editions of today’s open sprint.
He finished an unlucky second in the race last year, beaten by three-quarters of a length by Irish Excuse, and rider Sarah MacNab was determined to make amends today.
“I was unlucky on him last year and wanted to make sure I didn’t get stuck in a pocket this time,” she said.
Scapolo turned the tables on Irish Excuse this time around, moving forward to challenge that runner at the top of the straight. Irish Excuse fought well on his inside, with Salamanca running on strongly out wide, but Scapolo was too strong and scored by three-quarters of a length.
“He’s amazing,” said MacNab, who has now won three times from five rides on the $800,000 earner.
“He gave me an amazing feeling coming across the junction – he was just cruising. I didn’t want to go too early.”
Scapolo is trained by Kevin Myers for owners Anne, Khalif, Rick, Sandy and Teneka Hill.