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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Sunday, April 02 2017

Awapuni trainer Kevin Gray and his apprentice Holly Andrew enjoyed a cracking day out at their home base on Saturday when they combined to produce a premier day double.

Bronsteel - Troy Leggett Race Images Palmerston North

Consistent performer Undercover got them off on the right foot when he out-toughed race favourite Akoya in the third race on the day's programme before Andrew produced a heady display on Bronsteel to complete the winning brace just two races later.

Stepping up to rating 85 company after a convincing win at Trentham last month, Bronsteel indicated she was a mare going places as she dominated in the closing stages of a spirited contest over the 1550 metre journey.

Andrew made good use of the mare's good barrier and light weight to settle handy to the pace before surging to the front approaching the home bend. Bronsteel responded well to her rider's urgings as she established a three length break early in the run and never looked like being caught despite a late burst from the well favoured Shadows Cast.

Gray was full of praise for the effort when questioned after the race.

"That's very satisfying here on my home track," he said.

"She's not a bad little mare this as she's come really solid of late. I've been waiting for her to show she needs a break but the racing hasn't hurt her.

"Maybe she's a little bit tough like me!"

Gray had more than one reason to celebrate the win of Undercover as not only does he train the three-year-old Alamosa colt but he also bred and owns him with wife Kathleen.

"We bred this one and his mother as well," he noted.

"He's been a lovely little horse who has hardly been out of the money. I wouldn't mind another one or two just like him.

"It's great to win a race on a day like this, Manawatu's biggest day."

Gray did admit he had some doubts about Undercover's chances after having not run him since late February.

"He was very fresh so I was just hoping his condition would hold out," he said.

"It looks like he might handle the wet tracks with winter coming as his mother did."

Undercover is the last foal of handy racemare Shy Belt and a half-brother to prolific winner Megabelt who was successful 11 times during his 63-start career.

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 09:07 am   |  Permalink   |  Email