First crop 2YO stakes winner for Turn Me Loose - Turn The Ace takes out Te Rapa feature


Rugged two-year-old Turn The Ace (Turn Me Loose) provided a second milestone for his sire Turn Me Loose in the space of seven days when he took out the feature event at Te Rapa on Saturday, the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre 2YO Stakes (1100m).

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained youngster registered the first success as a sire for triple Group One winner Turn Me Loose when he won on debut last Saturday and backed that up with another superb performance to become his first stakes winner.

Rider Ryan Elliot had Turn The Ace away nicely from an inside gate and was content to sit outside a steady pace set-up by race favourite Rangi Toa (Shamexpress). The pair established a break on their rivals shortly after straightening and set down to fight out the finish with Turn The Ace getting in the deciding stride to take the race by the barest of margins.

Forsman was delighted with the victory, but admitted it came as part of a bizarre day for the Cambridge stable who had had scored one race earlier with track specialist Crafty Jess (Mastercraftsman) in the open 1600m event but had the misfortune to see stablemate Marroni (Makfi) clip heels and fall when lodging his challenge in the event.

“It’s definitely been a crazy day, but it’s very gratifying to pick up a double and to see Turn The Ace win like he did,” Forsman said.

“We weren’t too sure about backing him up after his win last week, but he did really well, so we rolled the dice and got the result we were looking for.

“It was a super win, from a very tough horse, who I think is going to thrive with some time off now before we look at a three-year-old campaign.”

Forsman was pleased to see Elliot not take up the pacemaking role in the race, rather giving Turn The Ace something to focus on and chase down in the home straight.

“I definitely think he is a better horse chasing, so Ryan handled him perfectly,” he said.

“The last thing you wanted to see was for him to lead and maybe knock up in the final stages, but he showed plenty of guts and reminded me of his old man so much with the attitude and determination he displayed.

“We have quite a few by Turn Me Loose in the stable and I think he will definitely make it as a stallion on what they are showing us at home.”