Te Akau Taupo Treble – Win 2 – Rhapsody in Blue
13 Sep 2020
Having scored aboard stable-mate and debutante, Keke Star (Shooting to Win), with a great piece of riding, Danielle Johnson was to the fore a race later with a mirror image performance on Rhapsody in Blue (4 m Medaglia d’Oro – Kablues, by Danske).
Utilizing barrier one to trail the leader, Rhapsody in Blue, a filly that capped solid form with victory over 1300 metres in September last year on the same course at Taupo, presented to the outside on straightening, overpowered two horses to her inner and had the fortitude to withstand a late challenge from race favourite Can I Get An Amen (Hallowed Crown).
It was another terrific ride and good improvement from Rhapsody in Blue, after she had lost both front plates when last racing in July, to win the $10,000 Rating 65 1200 metres sponsored by Total Transport Taupo.
“She likes the course at Taupo, and after winning her Maiden here has come back to win in the next grade,” said trainer Jamie Richards. “She wanted to overdo things recently when we trialled her at Te Teko, and it may not have looked as good as we would have liked, but it brought her fitness on and she was aided today by a good draw (1) and a lovely ride by Danielle (Johnson).
“She got off the fence at the right time and quickened in well on top of the ground. I don’t think it will be her last win, but we’ll just place her carefully and see where we end up.
“She’s down at Main Stable with Tracy (Collis) and Kate (Belsham) and all our stable blocks are getting a turn. She enjoys getting out into the paddock and the Main Stable paddocks suit her well.”
On Dead4 footing, Rhapsody in Blue ran the 1200 metres in 1:12.1 and paid $7.40 & $2.20 on the NZ TAB tote.
Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM purchased Rhapsody in Blue as a yearling at the 2018 Karaka Book 1 Sale, paying $95,000 from the draft of Valachi Downs. Her sire, Medaglia d’Oro (El Prado), has sired 44 Group 1 winners, including the 2019 NZ Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m), and a terrific family on the dam side includes Champion 3YO Filly in Australia Shamrocker (O’Reilly), winner of the Australian Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) and VRC Australian Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m).
“It was a 10 out of 10 ride from Danielle (Johnson),” Ellis said. “She’s in front in the premiership and riding as well as anybody in New Zealand.
“Jamie (Richards) has levelled at the top of the premiership, Mark (Walker) had another winner on Saturday in Singapore, and he leads the premiership there. So, it’s exciting times for our owners and next Saturday is the first Group 1 of the season at Hastings.”
Rhapsody in Blue has now had two wins, second, and third, from six starts for the Fortuna Syndicate (Mgr: John Galvin).
Rhapsody in Blue was strapped by Libby Richards.
Photo credit – www.raceimages.co.nz