Kozzi Asano winning the Listed Steelform Roofing Group Wanganui Cup on Sentimental Miss (Race Images)
Andrew Carston bookended the card at Cromwell on Sunday but his biggest win of the weekend came at Wanganui on Saturday.
The Christchurch-based trainer didn’t have a horse racing, but his apprentice jockey Kozzi Asano stole the show, winning the Listed Steelform Roofing Group Wanganui Cup (2040m) on the Lisa Latta-trained mare Sentimental Miss.
It was Asano’s first win at stakes level in a breakout season which sees him currently sitting in second position on the national jockey’s premiership, and his boss couldn’t be happier for the young Japanese rider.
“Kozzi is absolutely flying,” Carston said. “He’s a hard worker, he turns up to work, he never complains, he does his form and he deserves everything he gets.
“He’s very excited to have got his first stakes win, he had a couple of stakes rides for me with no luck, but I was just as happy to see him get the win for Go Racing who are great clients of our stable.
“It’s great for his profile too, he’s proved he can travel up North and fit it with the best and without his claim.”
There was no time for celebrations for Asano as he made the journey from Wanganui to Cromwell, where he rode two winners for Carston.
Progressive Savabeel mare Rumour Has It won the first race the Quartz Reef Maiden Stakes (2030m) and she will now head to the paddock for a rest before embarking on an autumn campaign.
“She’s been knocking on the door for a while,” said Carston. “She’s not had a bad run since she’s been with us, so it was good to top off her preparation with a win, she deserved it.
Eight races later Sharp ‘N’ Silver was successful in the Naylor Love Handicap (1400m).
“Kozzi rode her super,” said Carston. “The claim helped too, the second horse carried 58.5 and we carried 53.5 and weight can stop a train.
“She’s as genuine as genuine can be, she’s no star by an stretch but she’s as honest as the day is long.
“I thought she was unlucky not to win on New Zealand Cup Day at Riccarton when she missed the start and ran fourth, so I wasn’t surprised at all when she won I even tipped her as the best of the lot on the TV earlier in the day.”
Carston said Sharp ‘N’ Silver is likely to continue her campaign with another run over 1400m at Dunedin on Boxing Day.