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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Sunday, August 14 2022
Ridgeview Chief back to his best at Tauranga

Promising winter galloper Ridgeview Chief (NZ) (Niagara) shrugged off a disappointing last start performance at Ruakaka to reward his supporters with a five and a half-length victory at Tauranga on Saturday.

The Gavin Opie-trained son of Niagara had been well supported at Ruakaka after an impressive performance to win at Pukekohe leading into that race but found nothing after sitting handy to the pace and dropped out to finish second-last on the Soft 5 rated surface.

Punters were prepared to forgive that showing and installed him as the well-backed $5.90 second favourite on a Heavy 10-rated track for Saturday’s rating 65 1200m contest where he didn’t disappoint, careering clear in the home straight for apprentice Lemmy Douglas to register a stunning victory.

Opie was delighted with the win, the second in his care after receiving the horse following the passing of his former trainer, owner and breeder Ross Nicol earlier in the year.

“He’s a pretty smart horse and I’m just so pleased we could get another win for the Nicol family,” Opie said.

“Ross was such a good horseman and did a fantastic job with this guy, so when I got him, I just wanted to do him proud.

“We managed to get that first win at Pukekohe back in June but I backed him up too quickly at Ruakaka and he didn’t fire.

“We gave him a few days in the paddock and freshened him and he seems to be at his best when he is like that.

“Actually, I couldn’t believe how easy he made it look today.

“I was watching the race between people and I could only see their legs and feet coming to the turn.

“When I saw the white feet hit the front, I was thinking by god that better be us as we are in trouble if they aren’t.”

Opie will wait to see what rating penalty the horse receives for the victory before deciding on his next move with the horse.

“I’ll give him an easy time for a while and have a chat to Sheryl (Nicol’s daughter) about what we do next,” he said.

“If he only gets a few points then he would get into a nice position in a rating 74 race, where Lemmy could make good use of his 3kg claim again.

“After that win I would think he would like to ride him again.”

Opie was also pleased with the effort of another stable member in Deebee Zapower (NZ) (Power) who finished fourth in the last race on the card after leading into the straight.

“He (Deebee Zapower) just got left a sitting duck in the run home and may have loafed a bit because of it,” he said.

“I think we might put the visor blinkers on next time so he can see them coming a little better.

“If he bounces through the run then I might start him in the Interprovincial (1600m) at New Plymouth next weekend.”

Video: Ridgeview Chief bolts home at Tauranga


Posted by: AT 02:48 am   |  Permalink   |  Email