Te Rapa Double - Applause Aris Aris

Date: 19 May 2024

Te Rapa Double - Applause Aris Aris

A genuine performer, Aris Aris (5 m Contributer – Irish Encore, by Darci Brahma) won the $40,000 Dunstan Horsefeeds Open Handicap 1300 metres on Saturday at Te Rapa.

After Pokuru Gold (Darci Brahma) won earlier on the programme to record the 150th New Zealand victory this season for Te Akau trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson, Aris Aris became their sixth success this week.

Although the immediate form maybe gave reason for suspicion, Aris Aris had made ground widest from second last in the Open Handicap 1400 metres on 27 April at Te Rapa, won by stable-mate and subsequent race rival Freeze Frame, while her previous run, also for sixth, was on footing beyond her when downgraded to Heavy10 in the City Of Napier Sprint (Listed, 1200m) on 13 April at Otaki.

Owned by Gordon Cunningham and Nearco Stud, Aris Aris is now the winner of five races, with seven seconds, while also proving competitive at stakes' level.

While her previous four wins came on soft ground, the Heavy8 rating seemed within her capacity, and she brought a solid course record to the contest.

Ridden by Te Akau apprentice Niranjan Parmar (a1), Aris Aris was allowed to drift back from barrier two, settling last of 11 runners. She received a nice drag into proceedings behind eventual runner-up Dusty Road, and engulfed the field with a sustained sprint.

Stable-mate Freeze Frame, who vied for favouritism with third placed Turn The Ace, also finished strongly for a close fourth. 

“It was terrific to see her back in the winner’s circle after things not quite going her way of late, and great to get another win Gordon Cunningham and Greg Tomlinson,” Walker said. 

“They’re both great breeders and she’s going to make a lovely broodmare when retired from racing.

“We varied her training during the week to include some jumping and it really switched her on, and a gear change with the addition of a shadow roll, as well, I think made all the difference.”

Winning by a short neck, Aris Aris ran 1300 metres in 1:19.5, last 600m in 34.9 (approx.), and paid $10.90 & $3.50 on the NZ TAB tote. 

Aris Aris was bred and raced by Kevin Hickman ONZM (Valachi Downs), winning on debut at Taupo, and again at Wanganui, before being sold at auction on gavelhouse.com for $72,500 to owners Gordon Cunningham (Curraghmore Stud) and Greg Tomlinson (Nearco Stud).

Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM said: “We train this mare for two of the very best breeders in New Zealand.

“She’s still improving and looks like she’ll be competitive in future stakes' races.

“We’ve bought some top horses from both Curraghmore and Nearco over the years and greatly appreciate their support in giving us a horse to train. She’s a filly with the pedigree that a stakes' win would set her up beautifully for breeding.”

Aris Aris was strapped by Kendyll Lee. 

Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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