Blue Eyed Suzie puts wayward starts behind her in deserved win

Courtney Barnes. Photo: ODT files.
Courtney Barnes. Photo: ODT files.
Trial and error led to success for Blue Eyed Suzie when she scored a deserved win at Ascot Park on Sunday.

Rider Courtney Barnes found an economical passage one off the rail to continue her standout season in the saddle and win aboard the 5yr-old, who drew wide in barrier 10.

The win was the 26th this term for the Wingatui rider, equalling the tally of her last three seasons in the saddle combined.

Blue Eyed Suzie came into the 1600m race having run fourth in her last two runs.

The Tavistock mare helped herself to her second career win by making one of the best starts of her recent races.

"She has been slow away
in a lot of her starts lately, so last time we put blinkers on her to help her jump a bit better," co-trainer Brian Anderton said.

"It worked but she ended up pulling her block off, but she did pretty well to still run fourth.

"We took the blinkers back off her today and she jumped really well, so we have got there in the end."

The win came in Blue Eyed Suzie’s first start on heavy ground, which bodes well leading in to a southern winter.

The Anderton stable is making steady progress with the forgotten star of New Zealand jumps racing, Jackfrost.

The Grand National and Great Northern Hurdle winner has not been seen on a racetrack since he pulled up with a suspensory ligament injury after a trial in Victoria in July 2019.

Initially, the injury was feared to be career-ending but the now 10-year-old may prove that is not the case.

After having stem-cell therapy and going through several light preparations, Jackfrost recently produced his first serious gallop for the Anderton stable.

At this very early stage, a return to the races looks a possibility.

"We had his leg scanned and you wouldn’t even know he had an injury.

"He has had four preparations since then, just doing light work first to build him up.

"We want to do the right thing by the horse and at this stage, everything looks pretty good with him," Anderton said.

Jackfrost’s return could not have come at a better time with the reinstatement of jumps racing in the South Island.

It was unable to be held last season due to Covid-19.

 

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