Patience and perseverance has been rewarded for the connections of Woodsman (Mastercraftsman), who scored the fourth win of his career in today’s $20,000 Putauaki Cup at Te Teko.
Trainer Tony Gillies, who also shares in the ownership of the four-year-old son of Mastercraftsman, admitted after today’s race that the team nearly gave up on the frustrating gelding.
“We nearly sacked him early on,” the Matamata trainer said. “But it’s great that we’ve finally got him figured out now. He hasn’t run a bad race since.
“He’s a tough little bugger and this was a really good win today. I’m very happy with the ride Viktoria (Gatu) gave him, she rode him really well. He’s a hard horse to ride and you’ve just got to let him do his own thing. She got him out and let him roll forward when he started pulling. It was perfect.”
The drawback of that decision was that Woodsman covered more ground than most in the 2100-metre event, but he had plenty of energy left in the tank and drew clear of his rivals down the straight to win by a convincing length and a half. Hollywood Lad finished second, a head in front of another Mastercraftsman four-year-old, Visible.
Woodsman has now had 23 starts for four wins, one placing and $39,725 in prize-money. Three of his wins have come this season, in a Rating 65 at Te Aroha in October, a Rating 65 Dunstan Feeds Championship Qualifier at Ellerslie on December 28 and today’s Rating 75 event.