Karisto (1, Jonathan Riddell) carries the China Horse Horse Club colours to victory in the opening race at Rotorua.
For international bloodstock player Michael Wallace, a win is a win no matter where.
Last weekend he enjoyed a career highlight as racing and bloodstock manager for the China Horse Club when Justify and Audible finished first and third in the Kentucky Derby at the historic Churchill Downs.
After arriving back at his Cambridge home on Wednesday, Wallace treated today’s Rotorua race meeting as a family day out and was on hand with his wife Nicky and daughters Tessa (4) and Pippa (20 months) to greet another winning member of the widely dispersed China Horse Club string.
Written Tycoon three-year-old Karisto, who had promised a lot in the spring, refound winning form at Te Rapa last month and repeated with a brave effort in today’s Rotorua opener, the Burton Construction 3YO.
Carrying topweight of 58.5kg on the heavy track, Karisto worked across from a wide gate at the 1400-metre start point to track the early leader Lala Land and then take over before the final turn. Stablemate Ladynadel lodged her bid along the inside and at one stage looked like mastering Karisto, but at the line she had to settle for second a neck in arrears.
“He’s tough and he’s honest,” commented winning rider Jonathan Riddell after Karisto had fought all the way to the finish.
Wallace suggested a late season campaign in Queensland might now be in order for the Murray Baker/Andrew Forsman-trained chestnut.
“He’s always been a smart horse, it’s just that he got a bit colty earlier in the season and we had to geld him,” Wallace said. “Now that he’s come solid we could look at Brisbane. Races like the Queensland Guineas might suit him.”
Forsman wasn’t averse to Wallace’s suggestion, but a further race on the local scene might be in order.
“I agree with Michael that he would up to those better races, but first we might have to get some more prize-money in the bag to be sure he makes the fields,” Forsman said.