IN Racing
Wynne chasing southern riches
“It’s very exciting for the owners. We didn’t think we would get a chance like this so it will be good to give it a crack."
Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | February 28, 2024
Samantha Wynne returns victorious aboard Turf War at Riccarton last week. Photo: Race Images South

Prebbleton horsewoman Samantha Wynne will head south to Wingatui on Saturday where she will be trying to claim the lion’s share of the $200,000 prizemoney on offer in the ODT Southern Mile Final (1600m) with Turf War.

A dual license holder, Wynne both trains and rides the four-year-old gelding, with the pair securing their place in Saturday’s rich feature when victorious in the ODT Southern Mile Qualifying Race (1600m) at Riccarton last Friday.

Wynne is looking forward to chasing the southern riches this weekend and said it is great South Island trainers have the big carrot of the final to chase over summer.

“It’s very exciting for the owners. We didn’t think we would get a chance like this so it will be good to give it a crack,” Wynne said.

“It is great to be racing for that kind of money in the South Island, especially further south, the South Island deserves it.

“He went into last week’s race with a month between runs, so hopefully he naturally takes improvement from that. The back-up is going to be the question, but he seems to have pulled up great - so far so good.”

Turf War has drawn gate 13 for Saturday’s contest, but Wynne said it may not be as bad as it looks.

“At first, I wasn’t that impressed (by the draw) but it will be the second-to-last race of the day and he has great gate speed, so I am not too worried about the draw.”

The Irish expat has been a familiar face in the jockeys’ room over the last decade, but is now enjoying extending her role in racing to the training ranks where she has posted seven wins over the last three seasons.

“I have got nine in work at the moment and I truly enjoy it,” she said. “Having no family here, and having all day to yourself, it is not that nice, so the horses fill a big void and I love it.”

Wynne said she tries to not feel the pressure of both training and riding Turf War and takes plenty of confidence in the hard work she has put into the horse.

“I know I leave no stone unturned at home, so I have every confidence going out on them,” she said.

Wynne has a full book of rides at Wingatui on Saturday and is particularly looking forward to partnering with the Shane Kennedy and Anna Furlong-trained Warning Signal in the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1400m).

“She is a lovely type of filly,” Wynne said. “I rode her in a trial way back and I really liked her then. I am delighted to throw my leg back over. She has great experience and has already won a couple of races, so we just need a little bit of luck.”

Turf War Samantha Wynne Warning Signal Shane Kennedy and Anna Furlong ODT Southern Mile Final Listed Airfreight Stakes