Vardon Road pictured as a yearling
Andrew Carston-trained mare Vardon Road was the dominant winner of the Rainers Irrigation (1400m) at Ashburton on Saturday.
The daughter of the ill-fated Atlante was settled mid-field by jockey Kylie Williams. When asked to sprint after peeling wide on the bend she duly obliged sprinting home to win by one and three-quarter-lengths over Royce Roca and Vincenza with stablemate Namibia Miss a close fourth.
It was Vardon Road’s second career win and followed a solid finish for third at Riccarton earlier this month.
“Her last run was really good,” Carston said. “I had confidence coming into today and it was a very good ride from Kylie and I was really happy to get the win.”
Vardon Road is out of the dual race winning Stranvinsky mare Tanzer and she was co-bred and is co-raced by long-time Carston Racing Stables supporter Paul Cunneen.
“We’ve had her in the stable since she was a baby,” Carston said.
“Paul has been a loyal supporter of mine from day one so it’s great to get a win for him.
Carston said Vardon Road’s next race day appearance will be during New Zealand Cup Week at Riccarton.
Also primed for Cup Week is the Go Racing-owned Art De Triomphe who finished second, beaten one and three-quarter-lengths by There You Go in Saturday’s Gr.3 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m).
“She was super today,” Carston said. “Things didn’t go to plan but I’m really happy with her and it’s onwards and upwards to Cup Week now.”
The feature race was won by There You Go ridden by Carston’s apprentice Kozzi Asano who is currently on loan to Cambridge-based trainer Tony Pike.
“If she had to get beaten today at least it was by one of ours in Kozzi,” quipped Carston.