Popular Cambridge horseman Frank Ritchie received an early 50th anniversary present at Te Rapa yesterday when Miss Dalghar again gave a glimpse of her talent with a sound win.
Miss Dalghar (Brendon Hutton) proving too swift for the Taranaki visitor Lady Style at Te Rapa yesterday.
Ritchie and wife Colleen celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next weekend, a fact made public by a couple of races on the Te Rapa programme being sponsored in their honour.
The Ritchie-trained Dalghar three-year-old filly followed on from a maiden win on the track last month to take her record to two wins and a fourth from just three starts to provide a fitting result to the fifth event, the NZB Insurance Pearl Series 1400.
Settled in the trail by apprentice Brendan Hutton, the filly lobbed along nicely behind the speed before being asked to accelerate into a gap early into the run home. The response was immediate and she burst to the lead before cruising to the line to win comfortably by three quarters of a length.
Ritchie was feeling on top of the world as he made his way through a throng of well-wishers to speak to media after the race.
“It’s a big day for us with the family — except for Craig who’s still in Sydney — all here so we’ve had a lot of support,” said Ritchie, who is also a part-owner of the promising filly.
“The other two owners of this horse have been owners of mine for 40 years so it increases the joy we’re feeling right now.”
Ritchie admitted he had been confident before the race, although a little nervous if things didn’t pan out in their favour.
“If she’d run last there weren’t enough places for me to hide,” he joked.
“She drew one and I knew coming up from 1200 to 1400 metres she could sit a bit handier than last time.
“Brendan gave her a nice ride and she does have a turn of foot. We were aware that her main rivals were likely to get back in the run so if she was handy they would have had to come home in a pretty quick time to catch her.”
The race was also a triumph for Hutton as he registered the 100th win of his career on the filly.
“It’s a great feeling and I’d just like to thank everyone who’s helped me along the way, especially the Ritchie family who’ve supported me like I was their own son,” he said.
“She’s very smart and in her element today. She got to the line very strongly.”