IN Racing
Auckland Cup tilt for Aquacade
A win in the Dunstan Feeds Stayers Championship Final could provide the key to a tilt at the Gr.2 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup for Aquacade.
NZ Racing Desk | January 02, 2023
Aquacade. Photo: Trish Dunell

A win in the Dunstan Feeds Stayers Championship Final (2400m) at Te Rapa on New Year’s Day could provide the key to a tilt at the Gr.2 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) for progressive staying mare Aquacade.

The Lance Noble-trained four-year-old provided her trainer and owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay with the first leg of a race to race double on the day, as she capitalised on a perfect trip from barrier one to dash clear at the 200m and then hold out a late charge from runner-up Rising Storm.

Noble was delighted with the result as not only did it bring to fruition a long-term plan to target the race but it also provides the daughter of Dundeel with a ballot exemption for the Auckland Cup in March.

“I don’t think you could have written a better script for the race and everything just fell into place,” Noble said.

“We had planned to have a crack at the race at the start of her campaign and then we got the perfect barrier draw and another lovely ride by Warren (Kennedy).

“She had to carry a little bit of weight but the draw was a huge advantage and then they ran the race to suit, which helped her get the 2400m quite comfortably.

“We have also been thinking about trying to get her into the Auckland Cup on a light weight and now she has the ballot exemption that goes with the win, the planning becomes a lot easier.

“We might have a look at the Karaka Cup (2200m) on Karaka Million night next as it is three weeks in between races, so fits in nicely.

“After that I’m not too sure but she doesn’t need a lot of racing so we can be patient and take the best option available.”

The Noble stable has been on fire in recent weeks and one of the main contributors to that success has been progressive three-year-old filly Polygon who made it back-to-back wins at stakes levels with a devastating finishing burst to capture the Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m).

“We went into the race not really knowing if she would get a strong 2000m and I think she dispelled any doubts with that win,” Noble said.

“It was a beautiful ride by Michael (McNab) as he was just so patient after getting back and he made all the right decisions in coming through the field in the straight rather than try and swoop on them from out wide.

“She really showed a turn of foot to put them away and then she was also very good through the line as she took an age to pull up.

“She wasn’t nominated for the New Zealand Oaks (Gr.1, 2400m) but I think we have to have a serious look at a late nomination now.”

Noble, who trains in a private capacity for the Lindsay’s, also took plenty of satisfaction in having the stable runners performing with distinction on one of the biggest days in New Zealand Racing.

“Brendan and Jo just love their racing and our goal is always to have their horses competing on the big racedays,” he said.

“It is more than just having runners on those days; it is having horses that can perform with distinction.

“When I got home last night that was one of the things I was most satisfied with as I know the whole of Cambridge Stud gets a kick out of wining these races, so to pick up a double was very special.”

Aquacade Lance Noble Rising Storm Dundeel Warren Kennedy Polygon Cambridge Stud