Wekaforce (Michael Coleman) completes a runaway debut win at Ruakaka.
Wekaforce made the long trip from Cambridge well worthwhile at Ruakaka this afternoon, scoring a dominant debut win in the opening race of the seaside track's series of winter race meetings.
With Michael Coleman in the saddle, the daughter of Showcasing burst out of the starting gates in the Fell Engineering 2YO and sped to the lead.
The result was never in doubt as Wekaforce sprinted again in the straight, scoring by four and a quarter lengths and clocking 58.43 seconds for the 1000 metres on a Dead5 track.
“It’s a hard trip, but a track like this is worth coming for,” said Wayne Pike, father of trainer Tony.
Wekaforce is raced by a Galloping Wekas syndicate, joining Skyweka and Morweka as winners Tony Pike has trained for the group.
A full-sister to Morweka, Wekaforce is by Showcasing out of the Country Reel mare Spera, who won four races and finished fourth in the Doomben Roses. Close relatives include the multiple stakes winner Leigh Valley and her Group One-winning daughter Valley Girl.
Wekaforce had won her only trial before today’s debut win, scoring by a length and a quarter in an 800-metre heat at Te Teko last month. She was the $4.30 second favourite for today’s $10,000 race.
The $2.40 favourite Speed And Expel was slow to begin and never got into the race, finishing ninth.
Tony Pike told NZ Racing Desk that he was confident heading into Wekaforce’s debut appearance this afternoon.
“She’s always showed plenty of natural ability and she was good when winning her trial at Te Teko,” he said. “We’ve always liked her since she first came into the stable - she’s got a good attitude.
“She’s got good gate speed and we thought she would be hard to beat. She got a soft lead and put a good gap on them. She’s the third one I’ve had for the Galloping Wekas and she looks a really good prospect.
“We’ll have a look at her when she gets home and then decide how deep she goes into this preparation. She looks like she could be an ideal type for the early three-year-old fillies’ races next season.”
Coleman was a replacement jockey for Vinnie Colgan, who was unable to attend today’s meeting.
“She was sharply away and railed like a greyhound,” Coleman enthused. “I had a handful of horse turning for home and she did the job well.
“The track’s nice. It’s a true Dead5, but there’s a good layer of grass on it.”