Major Tom Wins G3 Riccarton Feature

Media Release - Saturday August 15

Ruakaka trainer Kenny Rae enjoyed a red-letter day at Riccarton on Saturday as two of his three-horse team that he had brought south from his far north base took out feature events.

After earlier upsetting pundits with promising Iffraaj gelding Zoltan, who defeated red-hot favourite Matchmaker in a three-year-old 1100m contest, Rae nabbed the big prize on the day with underrated galloper Major Tom who held out all challengers in a desperate finish to the Gr.3 Winning Edge Presentations 123rd Winter Cup (1600m).

Major Tom (inner) holds on gamely to take out the Gr.3 Winning Edge Presentations Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton Photo: Race Images South

Rae, who prepares his team in partnership with daughter Krystal Williams-Tuhoro, had brought the pair south along with one-race winner The Buffer and had been expecting good performances by all three runners.

Zoltan, who is a half-brother to Gr.1 Easter Stakes (1600m) winner Sound Proposition, justified that confidence with a convincing victory after piercing through a narrow gap at the 150m before charging clear.


Rae wasn’t impressed by the effort of jockey Taiki Yanagida who had ridden the horse at his last start and opted for leading South Island rider Terry Moseley on the weekend.

“Putting it bluntly, he was ridden terribly last time after he had ridden him perfectly the time before,” Rae said of Yanagida.

“The horse doesn’t need to be near the leaders so I said to Terry to let him fall out of the gates as, otherwise, he will fire up and pull too hard.

“He’s a very talented horse so once we can get him to settle and grow up, he could be very handy.”

It was however, seven-year-old Major Tom that Rae was pinning most of his hopes on and the Red Giant gelding didn’t disappoint with a typically gutsy effort.

Given a perfect run in transit by Sam Weatherley, Major Tom shot to the front at the top of the Riccarton straight and defied his rivals to run him down as he gamely clung to a neck margin from outsider Wild Jack and the well-supported Nomen Ludi.

It was the first stakes victory for Major Tom who has now won eleven races and over $200,000 in prizemoney.

“We planned this two months ago so it’s nice to make it work,” Rae said.

“He is a quality horse who had a track to suit and got a beautiful ride from Sam Weatherley.

“He was 110% for today and he raced like it.

“It certainly makes all the early mornings well worth it.”

Rae will remain in the south with Major Tom and Zoltan expected to line up at Riccarton in a fortnight, along with The Buffer who suffered an interrupted run in the last race on the card.

“I wasn’t bringing them down just for one run so we are staying on,” he said.

“There are nice races for all three of them in a fortnight and we just have to hope to get a little more luck for The Buffer as he has been pole-axed at both of his last two starts.”

The winning results for Rae also cemented a big day for stable client Malcolm Barratt who co-bred Zoltan and shares in the ownership of both he and Major Tom.   – NZ Racing Desk


Race Result - Winning Edge Pres. Winter Cup 1600m

Riccarton Park Track: Dead(5) Time: 1:37.39
Major Tom
T: K Rae & K Williams-Tuhoro J: S R Weatherley 55
7g Red Giant (USA) x Letsgoparty (NZ) (Oregon (USA))
Wild Jack
T: S D Blair-Edie J: A Comignaghi 54
8g Castledale (IRE) x Batterysnotncluded (NZ) (Yamanin Vital (NZ))
Nomen Ludi
T: E E Winsloe J: T R Moseley 56.5
7g Nom Du Jeu (NZ) x Gladiator's Choice (NZ) (The Gladiator (NZ))
Who Dares Wins
T: T & L Prendergast J: S L Wynne 60
8g Iffraaj (GB) x Wee Tipple (NZ) (Centaine (AUS))
NZB Festival Yearling Sale $44,000
V:Ardsley Stud Ltd
B: Phill Cataldo Bloodstock
T: S J Wilson J: C W Johnson 57
9g Zed (NZ) x Black Falcon (NZ) (Felix The Cat (USA))
City Slicker
T: K & A Tyler J: K Chowdhoory 53.5
5m Shocking (AUS) x Citycenta (NZ) (Elusive City (USA))
T: S J Robertson J: R J Bishop 53.5
7g Swiss Ace (AUS) x Kiri (NZ) (Prized (USA))
NZB Festival Yearling Sale $6,000
V:Westbury Stud
B: BPA Bloodstock
William Wallace
T: A M Bull J: S J Macnab 53
8g Darci Brahma (NZ) x Huluava (NZ) (Pins (AUS))
NZB Ready To Run Sale $40,000
V:Kilgravin Lodge
B: Makaraka Stables
Happy Star
T: J Benner & H Wynyard J: L J Allpress 53
5g Fabulous (NZ) x Carlton Queen (NZ) (Zed (NZ))
T: S & M Smith J: C A Campbell 53
8m Showcasing (GB) x Ivy Rose (NZ) (Don Eduardo (NZ))
Frankie The Fox
T: M P McCann J: Rohan Mudhoo 53
5g Ego (NZ) x Impact (NZ) (Keeper (AUS))
NZB Festival Yearling Sale $500
V:J. D. & S. Lourie
B: Mr MP McCann
Emily Margaret
T: K & P Hughes J: C R Barnes 53
5m Pins (AUS) x Seven Schillings (NZ) (O'Reilly (NZ))
NZB Select Yearling Sale $55,000
V:Trelawney Stud Ltd
B: Mr RJ Finlay
T: Ms M Paewai J: R J Myers 55.5
7m Redwood (GB) x Glad Eye (GB) (Giant's Causeway (USA))
T: M P McCann J: A Balloo 53
7g Road To Rock (AUS) x Cajun Two Step (IRE) (Danehill Dancer (IRE))
Floral Art
T: Peter Didham J: G A Jogoo 53
6m Road To Rock (AUS) x Something Special (AUS) (Bletchingly (AUS))
Orepuki Lad
T: G & M Eade J: L T Hemi 53
7g Raise The Flag (GB) x The Star Gazer (NZ) (The Gladiator (NZ))
T: K & A Tyler J: Ms K Williams 53
5g Natural Destiny (AUS) x Sophie Louise (NZ) (Postponed (USA))
Fly Without Wings
T: S D Blair-Edie J: A Bohorun 53
7g Castledale (IRE) x Fly The Coop (NZ) (Flying Pegasus (IRE))
Stallion Parade
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