Ticket To Ride (inside) winning the Gr.3 Canterbury Breeders’ Stakes (1400m).
Photo: Race Images South
Andrew Carston is having a standout season with 19 wins on the board, just three shy of his personal best of 22 in a season recorded during the 2016/17 term.
His latest victory was courtesy of Elva who won at Greymouth on Sunday. It was the maiden win for the five-year-old mare who was ridden by Rohan Mudhoo.
"I'm surprised it has taken her so long to win a race," Carston said. "She has just had bad luck and bad draws and with things going her way she went really well."
Carston was also happy to get his first winner for co-owners Faye and Frank Drummond who stood Elva's sire El Hermano at stud.
This week Carston is looking forward to tackling the Wild Buck NZ Ale/Ikamatua Hotel Reefton Cup (1400m) on Wednesday with Group Three winner Ticket To Ride.
The daughter of Shocking finished unplaced in the Listed Timaru Cup (1600m) last start, but Carston has been pleased with her progress since that run.
“She has come through the Timaru Cup well, I just felt the track firmed up a little bit too much which is probably why she didn’t race so well, but she has come through it in great order,” he said.
“She is a funny mare, she can put in a shocker every now and then, but I am happy with her. She has done really well, is fit, happy and bouncing around, so we are confident she should run well.”
Ticket To Ride will step back to 1400m on Wednesday and Carston believes that will be ideal for the seven-year-old mare.
“Her record has been a bit better at 1400m than a mile,” he said. “She is back around a tight track which I think is going to suit, with a little bit of fire out of the track too. It is a nice race for her with good stake money.”
If Ticket To Ride performs up to expectations on Wednesday she could back-up at Omoto next week before being set for more stakes assignments.
“I will possibly back her up in the Miss Scenicland on Tuesday,” Carston said. “That’s a possibility, but I’d just like to get through this run first.
“Longer term, if she happens to run well on the coast she could either go to the Timaru Stakes (Listed, 1400m) at Riccarton or the White Robe Lodge (Gr.3, 1600m) at Dunedin.”
Carston will take a six-strong team to Reefton and rates Sharp ‘N’ Silver and Running Man as two other strong chances on Wednesday.
“Sharp ‘N’ Silver went only fair at Kurow, but she seems to have trained on well, so I think she will be an eachway chance,” he said.
“I think Running Man will be a good chance in the last. He has had no luck since I have had him, but he gets his chance tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Carston is looking forward to the resumption of multiple stakes winner Miss Federer next week.
“Miss Federer had an exhibition gallop with Sanctify at Timaru on December 28,” he said.
“She worked very well and has come through that good. She will run in the Gore Guineas (Listed, 1335m) next Saturday.” – Picket Fence, NZ Racing Desk