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Bumper season for Riccarton trainer

By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Andrew Carston is closing in on his highest tally of winners in a season and on another front, he has already set a record total.

Sincere will contest the Racecourse Hotel & Motor Lodge Handicap (2200m) at Riccarton on Friday. 

Photo: Race Images South

The Riccarton trainer enjoyed 39 successes with a best of 42 in the 2022/23 term while his runners have collected earnings of more than $1 million to break his previous best mark of just over $880,000.

“It’s been very similar to last year with a nice, even team and they have raced well and consistently,” Carston said.

“It’s been my best season money-wise, which is always a positive and shows that racing is heading in the right direction.”

Carston will have a big team in action on the all-weather track at Riccarton on Friday and he looks to have a particularly strong hand in the closing event on the card.

The in-form pair of Sincere and Lippy will be the favoured duo in the Racecourse Hotel & Motor Lodge Handicap (2200m) while stablemate Dame County has claims off the back of a last-start placing.

“Sincere has been a bit frustrating this prep because he’s missed out on a couple of races due to insufficient numbers cancelling them,” Carston said.

“That was the reason I took him back to the grass last start at Ashburton and he was very good there.

“It’s the first time he’s had a quick back-up, but I think he’s a pretty handy horse and I want to get a line on him over 2200m. He’s a lot stronger than last year when he didn’t quite get the trip.”

To be ridden by Kozzi Asano, Sincere has won two of his last three starts over a mile while Lippy was successful over the same trip at his most recent appearance.

“Lippy got (Michael) McNab on and he’s going really well, I can’t fault his form and he likes the poly,” Carston said.

Courtney Barnes will be aboard Dame County who ran third last time out over this course and distance.

“She is running out of her grade, but her last run was tops and she’s an out and out stayer,” Carston said.

“I just wish they had races further than 2200m, she just keeps grinding away.”

Carston also likes Tough Time in the Grand National Tickets On Sale Rating 65 (1600m) and That’s’ Charming and Mumbo Jumbo in the Cup Week Hospitality On Sale Rating 65 (1200m).

“Tough Time had no luck last week, so he’s got to a winning chance,” he said.

Asano has been booked to ride the four-year-old and That’s Charming while Barnes will take the reins on Mumbo Jumbo.

“That’s Charming and Mumbo Jumbo have both been going really well, I can’t knock their form and with a bit of luck I think they can both be good chances,” Carston said. LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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