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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Saturday, May 20 2017

South Island's "magic man" Chris Johnson travelled north on Sunday to snare a winning treble at Rotorua, highlighted by a typically patient ride on Cambridge mare Let Her Rip to capture the Gr. 3 ISCL Rotorua Stakes.

Let Her Rip  - Trish Dunell

Johnson, who is making a concerted effort to snare his first National Jockey's Premiership, was having his first ride on the Rip Van Winkle four-year-old. Trainer Shaune Ritchie mused before the race that he felt Johnson's quiet style would suit the mare and so it proved as he allowed her to find her feet in the early rush before making his move approaching the home bend.

Taranaki visitor New York Minute had scampered to the lead at that point with race favourite Underthemoonlight in hot pursuit. Johnson angled Let Her Rip between the pair and asked for a final effort which came immediately as she dashed away to score from a game New York Minute who battled strongly to hold second from Underthemoonlight.

Raced in the same colour's as the recently retired multiple Group One winner Turn Me Loose, Let Her Rip was registering her fifth career win from 17 starts and first at stakes level.

"We suggested before the race Chris might suit her and he is very good at his best," remarked Ritchie.

"That's why you put these leading riders on as he allowed her to do her own thing and came into the race at just the right moment."

Ritchie was quick to joke about a delay to the race which saw it run 30 minutes over the scheduled start time due to an illness on course that required the attention of the ambulance staff.

"She's tended to get a bit hot in the past but this time she was very relaxed at the start," he said.

"Maybe that delay was a good thing although you couldn't say she was trained to the minute when they run late like that."

Plans for Let Her Rip will be decided during a brief break over the next week which could include a trip to Brisbane if the tracks there stay wet or an extended stint in the paddock with an eye to a spring campaign.

Johnson's winning treble took him to 84 wins for the season and just 5 behind current premiership leader Danielle Johnson with just over two months of the season left to run

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 04:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email