Ashvin Goindasamy loves upsetting in big races at Ellerslie and he did it again on Saturday when guiding Levin visitor Hinepara to victory in the Gr.2 Wallen Concreting Avondale Cup (2400m).
Goindasamy had registered his biggest career win aboard Tiptronic in the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at the venue on Boxing Day and added a Group Two victory to his resume’ on the Josh Shaw-trained Darci Brahma mare.
Betting in the race was dominated by Gr.2 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) contenders Concert Hall ($3.40) and Our Hail Mary ($3.60), with Hinepara starting at outside odds ($16).
Just as Concert Hall looked likely to reward her supporters as she drove to the front with 250m to run, the effects of her 59kgs topweight began to tell as Goindasamy got the best from Hinepara, who closed strongly from beyond midfield to burst to the lead in the final few bounds and register a half a length victory.
“I just love Ellerslie and winning big races here,” Goindasamy said.
“I rode her last week at Awapuni to get a feel for her and the 1600m was a touch too short for her.
“Today she got a nice track in the race and she was just travelling on the corner and needing a way out.
“When we got clear I thought Concert Hall might be home, but we came and got her on the post.
“The weight may have been the difference as we only had 52kgs, but she stretched out really well and got up on the line.”
Shaw, who prepares a small team of twelve from his Levin base, is in his fifth season as a trainer since returning to the Central Districts following time working in several stables in the Waikato region.
The excitement of the victory saw him having trouble keeping up with all the congratulatory messages he was receiving after the race.
“I’ve had to put my phone on charge as the battery is pretty much flat from the volume of calls I’ve had,” he said.
“That was just amazing and really satisfying, as it is the race we set her for.
“She was supposed to come up for the City Of Auckland Cup (Gr.3, 2400m) on New Year’s day but my sister had a wedding that day she wanted me at, so that put paid to that plan.
“We decided to forgo the Wellington Cup (Gr.3, 3200m) as it is a real tough two miles at Trentham and come here for this race instead and we’ve done it.”
Shaw admitted he had all but given up on the mare’s chances when he saw her tucked back on the rail beyond midfield when the pace increased sharply at the 800m.
“I actually walked away at the 800m as she was smothered away three back and I thought we didn’t have a prayer at getting a crack at them,” he said.
“Next thing I know she is in the clear and charging home, so it was a super ride by Ashvin.
“It was a massive effort and I did say if we ran first or second we would be back for the Auckland Cup, so I guess that is what we will be doing.”
Bred by well-known Central Districts identity Christopher Grace, Hinepara is out of the Generous mare Harinui and is a half sister to Group Three placed mare Waikaha and promising intermediate stayer Rangitata.
Connections will now have to make a decision on whether to pay the $10,000 late nomination fee on March 8 to enable Hinepara to make her way into the Auckland Cup, which will be run at Ellerslie on March 12.