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He is not too good at walking, but he can certainly run which Bluey’s Chance showed by winning the Clare Memorial Cup at Cromwell yesterday.
The Canterbury galloper burst out of the trail to the lead before the home turn and maintained a break on the field to win the 2030m feature for trainer Kenny Moore and rider Akshay Balloo.
Bluey’s Chance’s victory handed the pair some compensation after he was late-scratched out of a race on New Zealand Cup Day at Riccarton, earlier this month.
"His nickname around the stables has always been the ‘Minister Of Funny Walks’ and he has been late-scratched four times now," Moore said.
"He walks like he is lame, but it is only at a walk and has always done it."
"As soon as he gets up to a trot or a canter he is fine. There is nothing wrong with him."
Bluey’s Chance’s scratching meant Moore had to produce a decent training performance to have the 7yr-old ready for victory yesterday.
The galloper came in to his first start over 2000m or further without having had a run for almost a month.
"The win was a surprise, but the good performance wasn’t."
"He is just your typical tough old South Island horse. I just love him to pieces."
Yesterday’s win was one of the biggest victories of Balloo’s two-season stretch riding in New Zealand.
The Mauritian born jockey, who works for Moore, won the Omoto Cup in January to notch the first of his seven wins here.
"The Mauritian Magician we call him. He is a beautiful rider," Moore said.
Trainers Nikki White and Lee Callaway were successful at the first meeting at their new home track when Spring Blossom took out race 5.
White runs her arm of the training partnership at Omakau, where the Central Otago Racing Club raced until the club was forced to move its annual meeting to Cromwell this season.
Spring Blossom backed up a good effort for third in a much stronger race during the New Zealand Cup Carnival to break through or her second win under rider Courtney Barnes.
The victory completed a double for Barnes, who also scored with Giveherago in race 3.
The 4yr-old produced a tenacious effort to stick her head out and hold on to win her debut for trainers Brian and Shane Anderton.
The win gave the Andertons victory in their own race — the White Robe Lodge maiden.
Riding Shock Prospect to win race 1 set up the prospect of rider Chris Johnson making history when racing returns to Cromwell tomorrow.
The Andrew Carston trained galloper’s victory was the 2448th of Johnson’s career in New Zealand.
With rides in all eight races on tomorrow’s card, Johnson could break David Walsh’s national record for wins in the saddle of 2451.