Rangiora galloper Louie Louie will get his first shot at stakes glory following his dominant performance in the Winning Edge Presentation Winter Cup Trial (1400m) at Ashburton on Thursday.
Eased out of the gate by jockey Lemmy Douglas, Louie Louie settled at the rear of the field in the meeting’s feature race, where the pair sat patiently throughout.
Turning for home, Douglas asked his charge to improve out wide and Louie Louie responded to the urges of his rider, running home strong to record a 2-1/4 length victory.
“He goes really well at Ashburton, it is probably his favourite track,” trainer Steven Woodsford said.
“He is a far better horse when you ride him back and Lemmy rode him a treat. He is not the easiest horse to ride.”
It was the seven-year-old gelding’s second start this preparation, following his first-up runner-up effort behind The Good Shepherd at Riccarton last month.
“He is going very well at the moment and we thought he was going to be a pretty good chance today,” Woodsford said.
The Gr.3 Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton on August 5 now awaits the gelding, and Woodsford is excited to test him at stakes level for the first time.
“He will probably go straight to the Winter Cup now I would say,” Woodsford said.
“He has won a mile at Riccarton in intermediate grade, so it will be good to race him there over a mile once more.
“It will be great to have a crack at stakes level with him as well.