A plucky front-running victory from Batman (Falkirk) brought a deserved piece of joy to Neil Ridley’s stable yesterday after the Riccarton local had endured a tragic loss just seven days earlier.
Ridley had the misfortune to lose veteran galloper King Montrose (King’s Chapel) on the first day of the New Zealand Cup carnival, but he had his spirits lifted when his seven-year-old Falkirk gelding led all the way to capture the Mohua Premier over 1400 metres.
Superbly rated by northern rider Mark Du Plessis, Batman repelled a series of challenges to score by half a length from Maybe Miami (Iffraaj), with Wednesday’s Gr. 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile third placegetter Nashville (Darci Brahma) filling the same position again.
Ridley was philosophical about his contrasting fortunes when interviewed after the victory.
“It was a sad day last week, but that’s racing and we will just put it behind us,” he said. “This guy is a pretty good galloper. He’s not sound but he’s pretty honest. I think the wee bit further made the difference today.”
Batman had run a gallant third on Wednesday in the Gr. 3 Lindauer Stewards' Stakes, with Du Plessis confident he had a fit horse under the saddle for yesterday’s contest.
“He led easily over 1200 metres the other day and I got a very soft lead today,” he said. “There’s not a lot of quickening with him as he gets to a point and then stays at that speed, but he did enough today.
“I was confident as I knew from the first run he was fit enough and he let down nicely.”