A love affair with the Te Rapa track continued on Saturday when course specialist De La Terre took out the Gr.3 Waikato Stud Soliloquy Stakes (1400m).
The Team Rogerson-trained three-year-old had won three of her four starts at the venue leading into the race and added a fourth victory with a gritty front-running performance and an inch perfect ride by jockey Ryan Elliot.
Elliot took no prisoners from barrier rise as he sent the Reliable Man filly straight to the lead and kept up a strong gallop throughout.
De La Terre snuck two lengths clear halfway down the Te Rapa straight and despite tiring in the final 100m had enough in reserve to hold out the challenge of Kahma Lass by a nose with Tokorangi making up good ground from well back to finish third.
Co-trainer Graeme Rogerson was thrilled with the victory as he looks ahead to tackling the Gr.1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) on November 14 with his charge.
“That was a super effort as we had to back off her a bit after she ran on the second day at Hastings,” he said.
“She jarred up a little bit so we gave her a short break. We had to run her last week to get her fitness back up as we’re heading to the 1000 Guineas at Riccarton.
“She should get down there now at one hundred percent. She’s a real tough filly and I don’t have any doubts that she will get the mile.
“It was a good effort and also by Ryan as it’s taken him some time to come back after the lockdown and then breaking his collarbone.
“He’s taken off 4.5kgs in the last ten days to get down to the weight today.”
Rogerson has now won the race on four occasions including in 2005 with Al Akbar filly Vegas Showgirl, who won seven races before retiring to the broodmare paddock where a mating with Street Cry produced superstar galloper Winx.
The younger sister of Group One placed mare Aalaalune, De La Terre has now won four of her 11 career starts and over $100,000 in prizemoney for her ownership group that includes Lotto millionaire Lou Te Keeti.
Rogerson outlaid $55,000 to purchase the filly from the Westbury Stud draft at the 2019 Book 1 Yearling Sale at Karaka.
TAB Bookmakers immediately tightened De La Terre into an $18 quote for the 1000 Guineas with both Kahma Lass and Tokorangi also shortening to $10 and $8 respectively behind Matamata filly Tinker McPhee who heads the Fixed Odds betting market at $2.60.
De La Terre and Ryan Elliot on the rails, picture Trish Dunell
Smart three-year-old leaves rivals speechless
Smart three-year-old Need I Say More let his actions do the talking at Te Rapa when he gave his age-group rivals a galloping lesson in the Gr.2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) on Saturday.
The Jamie Richards-trained runner had his doubters after he was beaten into fourth in the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at his last start when a well-backed favourite.
There were plenty prepared to bet against him again on Saturday, with punters installing the Katrina and Simon Alexander-trained filly Tinker McPhee as favourite for the race.
Need I Say More quelled those doubts and more with a sparkling display that saw him lead his rivals a merry chase from barrier rise as he dominated proceedings from in front to register a sizzling 1.22.06 for the 1400m journey.
Hawke’s Bay Guineas runner-up Bourbonaire rallied gamely to take second ahead of Tinker McPhee, but the pair were two and half lengths adrift of the Te Akau Racing flyer who re-established himself as the horse to beat in the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in a fortnight.
“It was a good effort as he got away from the barriers cleanly today and then could dictate terms after that,” Richards said.
“It all worked out well and he is going well.
“He just seems to be happier out in front where he can roll along, skip on the corner and then maintain that speed.
“It really was a massive run at Hastings and we weren’t disappointed as he did a power of work after getting caught wide with no cover and was still in the firing line before being run down the last bit.
“We’ll give him a couple of days now and see how he gets through the run but I would think you would have to go to Riccarton for the 2000 Guineas.
“He’ll probably get away with a mile in his own age group but in the future, I think he could be more a sprinting type.”
Richards went agonisingly close to scooping both of the three-year-old features on the day after Kahma Lass failed by a mere nose to catch De La Terre in the Gr.3 Waikato Stud Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) earlier in the day.
“She went super and is a progressive filly that we really like,” he said.
“She is in the same camp as Need I Say More in that she might be a 1200m-1400m in the future, but while she is three, we will probably take a shot at the 1000 Guineas with her as well.”
The Gr.1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) is run at Riccarton on November 14 with the 2000 Guineas a week earlier.
Need I Say More was secured by David Ellis for $130,000, from the draft of Kilgravin Lodge, at the 2019 Karaka Book 1 Sale. He has now won four of his five starts and $145,800 in prizemoney.
Need I Say More has moved back to the head of the Fixed Odds market for the 2000 Guineas at $3 ahead of Hawke’s Bay Guineas winner Aegon at $4.