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Canterbury galloper Camino Rocoso delivered a carbon copy of his win in last year’s Cromwell Cup to score back-to-back victories in the 2030m feature yesterday.
Just like last year, the headstrong 7yr-old worked to an early lead before rider Chris Johnson let him slide four lengths clear of the field in the back straight.
Johnson’s rating of the John and Karen Parsons-trained galloper proved pinpoint as the topweight went to the line three-lengths clear of runner-up Kilowatt.
Johnson was full of praise for Camino Rocoso after he made light work of his 62kg handicap.
“To carry that weight and do what he did, he is a nice horse all right,” the jockey said in a post-race interview.
“He seems to like this track and seems to come right this time of the year — on his last year’s form.”
“He had has a few runs and he was bang on today.”
Camino Rocoso is clearly in the same kind of excellent order he was when he won last year’s event, which means he could be in for a bumper summer.
The galloper went on to win the Waikouaiti Cup and the group 3 Trentham Stakes after his previous Cromwell Cup win after initially being tripped up by a slow track in the Tapanui Cup.
With one win on yesterday’s card Johnson in now two short of equalling David Walsh’s all time record for riding wins in New Zealand.
The champion jockey admitted it has been a slow build-up to breaking the record, but he hopes to collect three more wins to take the title for himself as quickly as possible.
“[I’m] slowly getting there, hopefully it will happen shortly.”
Riverton mare Flying Sardine continued her brilliant form since returning from Australia.
Known largely as wet tracker, the Kelvin and Aimee Tyler-trained 8yr-old reminded punters she can show her class on better tracks when winning yesterday’s open 1400m event on the dead 4 rated Cromwell track.
Flying Sardine’s win was her fourth in six starts this time in and came after she ran in to traffic problems in her last start in the group 2 Coupland’s Mile at Riccarton.
Chitter Chat and Spring Blossom were the only two horses to back up their wins at Cromwell on Friday and make it a double with victories on yesterday’s card.
Spring Blossom had had just two runs since last year’s Cromwell Cup meeting when a third and an unplaced effort at the New Zealand Cup Carnival.
The Nikki White and Lee Callaway-trained 5yr-old quickly made up for lost time by winning twice in rating 65 company over 1220m at the two Cromwell meetings.