I Do saves the day at Awapuni

Allan Sharrock and Jonathan Riddell were back on good terms after the grand mare I Do strolled to an effortless victory in this Sturday’s Gr 3 Manawatu Challenge Stakes. The No Excuse Needed six-year-old’s win – the 10th of her 27 start career – put the smiles back on their faces after disappointment earlier in the day at Awapuni.

“That might make up for Kawi – we weren’t talking earlier,” Sharrock said, referring to the talented Savabeel gelding’s defeat in the three-year-old event. The Gr 1 Levin Classic hopeful started at odds-on, but was beaten into second after Riddell had got him into the clear too late and they had rushed home for second.

There were no such problems for I Do, who is raced by Sharrock and co-breeder Mark Chittick, and she bolted home by two and three-quarter lengths. ““It’s probably the best I’ve had her and her work on Thursday was enormous and she just killed them,” Sharrock said. “I said to Mark we’ll set her for the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes so she’ll go out for three weeks now.”

Riddell was a relieved jockey after I Do’s performance – “This mare’s got me out of trouble with Allan and she’s flying,” he said. “I stayed one off and followed Fritzy Boy, who always goes a game race, and once I peeled off him she did it easily.”

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