First SH stakes winner for Paco Boy
2 June 2015
A set of colours so familiar to Stephen Autridge during his solo career have successfully launched his new partnership with Jamie Richards.
The duo took over as head trainers of the Te Akau operation earlier this month and Stella Di Paco opened their winning account in dramatic fashion at Wanganui on Saturday.
The filly, who provided her sire Paco Boy with his first New Zealand success, rocked punters when she turned in a gritty display of front-running to claim the Listed John Turkington Forestry Castletown Stakes at odds of 44-1.
The two-year-old is raced by Max Whitby and last year Autridge produced A Touch Of Ruby at a similar price to triumph in the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile for the Sydney-based owner.
While Stella Di Paco was unwanted in the betting market on Saturday, Autridge had sent her south with confidence.
“She’s pretty gutsy and she had improved a lot,” he said. “She’s one tough cookie and we’ll see how she pulls up as to whether she goes back down for the Ryder Stakes.”
Winning rider Johnathon Parkes echoed Autridge’s sentiments after the filly had been attacked a long way from home.
“She put herself in the race and she took a fair bit of riding, but she really dug in and kept giving,” he said. “It was a good, tough win.”
Stella Di Paco got home by a long neck from Miss Fi with Massa Lu third after lodging his bid at the top of the straight.
The favourite Hover beat only two home after he began awkwardly and never looked comfortable in the running.
He will now be spelled and fourth placegetter Mr Conductor will also be sent for a break by trainer Johno Benner.
“We think he’s going to be a pretty smart three-year-old and he’ll be in the paddock for three or four weeks and then we might look at the Wanganui Guineas,” Benner said. – NZ Racing Desk.