Irish Red You Ripper

Date: 25 Aug 2022

Irish Red You Ripper


Stakes' placed Irish Red (4 m Burgundy - Niamh Elizabeth, by Per Incanto) made a great start to her campaign with victory in the $14,000 Rating 65 1200 metres on 25 August at Riccarton.


Stakes' placed three times last season, most recently when second in the Airfreight Stakes (Listed, 1400m) on 5 March at Wingatui, Irish Red had closed nicely for third in a trial on 19 July at Cambridge (poly-track), having previously exuded appreciation for the track, while also having trialled well on the poly-track at Riccarton.

Suited by a torrid dual in front, Irish Red travelled sweetly in sixth before easing out in the straight and she made light work of a hefty impost (59kg) to score with authority under a nice ride by Jason Laking, aboard in the Airfreight Stakes and knows her well.

It was also a terrific return to racing for stable-mate Invincibeel (Savabeel), who was last and standing the leader 10 lengths at the 600m before closing powerfully for third.

On the poly-track, Irish Red ran 1200 metres in 1:09.7 and paid $4.00 & $1.50 on the NZ TAB.

“It was a lovely ride by Jason (Laking) and a good fresh-up effort by the mare under quite a bit of weight,” said trainer Mark Walker, who saddled six winners a day earlier at Taupo.

“She looks as though she's come back really well from her break, strengthened, more in store for her, and I'm very happy with the result.”

Another person very pleased with the outcome was Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM, who shares in the ownership with Glenn & Cathie Holmes, John Elstob and Denise Bassett, and Paul Martin.

“I actually bought the mother from the Select Sale at Karaka, and Paul (Martin) raced her,” Ellis said. “She was a half-sister to a Group Three winner called Thrive (Colombia) which we trained and I raced with a good mate Ken Browne, who bred her from one of the Lowry families at Okawa Stud.

“I remember Niamh Elizabeth winning at Matamata, and Paul named her after his granddaughter. Glenn and I bred from her, but it's really good to have Paul in the ownership of Irish Red and she looks as though it could be a good season for her.

“It's a hell of a good family, going back to In Joyment that Gai Waterhouse trained to win the Group One Metropolitan Handicap (2500m) in Sydney.

“Today we saw the first of our southern horses going around for us from the base at Riccarton, where they'll campaign through to Cup Week in November, and all four of them went well.

“Invincibeel, a staying mare of the Gartshore's, made up a lot of ground, and Zouluminous in the previous race showed plenty of zest for second in a sprint race, and she's won up to 1800 metres.

“Hunter Durrant is down there looking after the team, and we've got six based in the south at the moment. Hunter is a top young horseman, has a great work ethic and understanding of horses, and is going to make a very good trainer in his own right in years to come.

“It was a really nice ride by Jason (Laking), who won the New Zealand Oaks for us this year on Belle En Rouge, and he's working full-time for us down there.”

Irish Red was strapped by Lydia Truesdale.


Photo credit - Ajay Berry:


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