Ifithappensagain winning at Riccarton over 2000m. Photo: Riccarton Park Racecourse Facebook Page
Patience has paid off with Ifithappensagain who broke maiden ranks on Wednesday winning the Stephanie Murray Mortgages Premier (2000m).
The five-year-old son of Iffraaj benefited from a well-timed ride from jockey Lisa Allpress who bided her time near the rear of the field before unleashing a powerful burst down the straight to race past their rivals and win by a long neck.
Ifithappensagain appreciated the step up in distance to 2000m with trainer Andrew Carston having identified him as a promising stayer before plans went awry last year.
“It was a pretty satisfying win,” Carston said. “On the same day last year he pulled up sore after the exact same race and had to have a knee chip operation.
“It has been a long road back and he has very patient owners.
“He is a horse that has always shown a fair bit and I always thought he would stay, it was just a matter of getting him to that stage. It was a really good ride from Lisa and it’s great to win a race during New Zealand Cup week.”
Cartson had three other placings on Wednesday and was buoyed by the results heading into summer racing.
“It wasn’t a bad day out,” he said. “All the maideners went super, I had five and they all ran top four.
“That is pretty exciting that they are all pretty close to winning a race, I just have to place them in the right races now and they will hopefully win a race quite quickly.”
The stable will be represented by several runners at Riccarton on Saturday for the third day of the carnival.
“We have a few in on Saturday and it’s good for their owners to be a part of Cup week and have the chance to run for good money,” Carston said.