Saturday, February 6, 2010

Red Ruler has won the 2010 running of the Wellington Cup at Trentham in the Hutt Valley...

Red Ruler has won the 2010 running of the Wellington Cup at Trentham in the Hutt Valley...

Red Ruler, a five year old gelding, has just won the Wellington Galloping Cup at Trentham Racecourse in the Hutt Valley, just a few miles outside of Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. It was a fine riding performance by South African born jockey, Mark Du Plessis, and a great staying performance by the horse who had been eased behind the pacemakers, and finished with a powerful sprint to win the 2400 metre event going away. He is undoubtably the best stayer racing in New Zealand at present. He won the lead up race a week ago, and the City of Auckland Cup over a similar distance at New Years. The horse has also raced in Australia with distinction.
While this race has undoubtably been the premier staying event in New Zealand for decades, despite Auckland having higher stakes and the glitz and glamour of being our biggest city, and having an inferior race track as well, the Wellington Cup was inexplicably reduced in distance to 2400 metres and downgraded to Group Two last year, 2009. This will have detrimental effects on NZ racing as well, considering Auckland decided to transfer its cup meeting to March in the autumn a few years ago. Its obvious that North Island racing clubs don't really understand the historical significance of time honoured races, something the Christchurch, and other South Island clubs undoubtably do.

In my humble opinion, as somebody who has followed racing closely in this area for forty years, the Wellington Cup run over 3200 metres was second only to the Melbourne Cup, raced at Flemington in Melbourne, Austraia.

As fine clothes don't necessarily make the man, higher stakes don't necessarily make a race superior to one with lower stakes. That has been proven time and time again!

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