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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Saturday, April 01 2017

Otaki galloper Sampson is finding strength in set weights and penalties racing in his older age.

Sampson  - Race Images Palmerston North

The seven-year-old's two wins this preparation have come under those conditions with a victory four runs back in the Gr.3 Trentham Stakes and at Awapuni on Saturday he added the Gr.2 City of Palmerston North Awapuni Gold Cup to his record.

In between times, Sampson has been unplaced in two appearances at Ellerslie.

"I've got my heart set on going to Brisbane with him, but he won't go right-handed!" said trainer Howie Mathews, whose wife Lorraine races the gelding with friend Janice Street.

Ridden by Reese Jones, Sampson settled midfield and he rounded off determinedly in the straight to beat Five to Midnight, the pacemaker Woodsman and last year's winner Maygrove.

"With the way the track was they were racing right off the rail and it made it a true staying test," Mathews said.

Long on stamina, Sampson has now won nine races and he has also been placed over the ultimate 3200 metre trip with a third placing in last season's Gr.2 Wellington Cup.

In the previous event, the Kevin and Pam Hughes-trained Maybe Miami, who is raced by long-time stable supporter Barry Thomas, finally struck gold on his travels when he won the Listed Café Cuba Flying Handicap.

"I'm thrilled for Barry, he does so much for racing and we've had a couple of disappointing trips before this," Kevin Hughes said. "I'm thrilled to be back in my old home town."

Hughes successfully trained at Awapuni for many years before moving to Riccarton.

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 11:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email