Stud’s racing stable dominates at Pukekohe

8 Nov 2023
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

Cambridge Stud and their private trainer Lance Noble celebrated a memorable afternoon at Pukekohe on Tuesday with a clean sweep of the feature events and a winning undercard double.



Aquacade on her way to another stakes victory in the Gr.3 Balmerino Stakes (2050m) here at Pukekohe on Tuesday. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)


Gifted staying mare Aquacade claimed the Gr.3 Balmerino Stakes (2050m) before Habana followed her winning lead to triumph in the Listed Fulton Family Stakes (1500m).

Their stablemate About Time had started the ball rolling when she landed the NZB Ready to Run Sale Series Maiden (1200m) while Flamebird was a decisive winner of the Hallmark Stud Handicap (1400m).

The familiar Cambridge Stud colours of Brendan and Jo Lindsay went close to making it five for the day when the Graham Richardson and Rogan Norvall-prepared Snazzytavi finished a close second in the Stella Artois Handicap (1400m).

Gifted staying mare Aquacade added winning momentum to her quest for a Group One victory when she doubled her stakes tally on the course.

The daughter of Dundeel gave connections a fright before the Balmerino Stakes when she had to pass a veterinary check, but it was all plain sailing thereafter with the short-priced favourite comfortably accounting for her rivals.

Aquacade made impressive progress last campaign with three wins on the bounce including the Gr.2 Avondale Cup (2400m) at Pukekohe.

She then finished fourth in the Gr.2 Auckland Cup (3200m) before a break and returned last month to finish runner-up behind star performer Legarto in the Listed Matamata Cup (1600m) and had no trouble going one better on Tuesday.

“To win like that in her first start at weight-for-age was great, we’re very happy,” Noble said.

“We are deliberately not trying to send her too far too soon, we’ll keep her legs nice and fresh for 2000m and she’s showing a bit more dash than last prep.

“The Zabeel Classic (2000m) is the target for her and a Group One in New Zealand would be terrific.

“I’m not sure what happened at the start, it makes your heart skip a beat when something like that happens but she’s a really good mare.”

Aquacade lobbed along in midfield and one off the fence before rider Warren Kennedy peeled three wide before the turn.

They challenged 300m from home and asserted their superiority in the closing stages to have a length and a-half on Aromatic at the post with Gino Severini third and defending champion Defibrillate the best of the rest.

“We had a little bit of a scare when she kicked out and got her leg caught, but the boys at the gate did a good job and fortunately she didn’t take any skin off,” Kennedy said.

“She’s definitely a lot stronger this time and smarter.”

Kennedy said he had no concerns during the running with Aquacade always travelling well.

“She just cruised around and when she hit the front she loafed a bit, she really enjoyed her day out.”

A daughter of the unraced Irish-bred Sea The Stars mare Forest Of Seas, Aquacade has now won times and posted a further five placings from her 15 appearances.

Also partnered by Kennedy, Habana was a deserved victor in the Fulton Family Stakes following his luckless resuming run for third in the Gr.3 Sweynesse Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa.

“He came through that well, he’s a lot stronger this year than he was last year and his record at Pukekohe is really strong,” Noble said.

Habana has now won five races on the course and also finished runner-up on the course in last season’s Gr.3 Easter Handicap (1600m).

Kennedy also rode About Time while Vinnie Colgan was aboard Flamebird.



Major Partners