Veteran jockey Chris Johnson and five-year-old gelding Camino Rocoso completed a notable double with wins in the feature races on both days of the Marlborough Racing Club’s meeting at Waterlea.
After taking out the Kam Transport Marlborough Cup Prelude on Friday, the duo backed it up on Sunday with victory in the Cup race itself.
Camino Rocoso prevailed by a length over Smoke House Bay, in the hands of Tina Comignaghi, with Duffers Creek third in a six-horse race.
Overtheriver, who completed the Prelude/Cup double last year, ended up fifth.
On Friday Camino Rosoco won the Cup Prelude by half a neck over six-year-old Guy Fox, ridden by Sarah MacNab.
The gelding’s win on Sunday was the fifth success of the meeting for the training partnership of John and Karen Parsons at Balcairn, while Lisa Allpress was the most successful rider, saddling up five winners over the two days.
The highly-experienced Allpress, who leads the jockey’s premiership with over 100 wins and almost $2 million in stakes, said she always enjoyed her time in Marlborough.
“The course is beautiful and they look after us really well during the day … I really enjoy country racing.”
Allpress would not be drawn on the recent well-publicized plans to cut some country meetings from the thoroughbred calendar, including Waterlea, but added, “if they still have meetings here and I am chasing a premiership I will be coming back to ride here.”
The powerful Kevin Myers’ contingent from Whanganui won three races, while apprentice jockey Tina Comignaghi picked up three wins for the meeting.
With reasonable crowds on course both days for the 99th Marlborough Racing Club meeting and some quality racing on show the future looks bright for the club’s centennial meeting in 2020.