Group three race White Robe Lodge Weight-For-Age a triumph for race sponsor
The 2019 $70,000 group three White Robe Lodge Weight-For-Age (1600m), the Otago Racing Club feature race at Wingatui was an all - round triumph for the race sponsor. The winner Gallant Boy is prepared by WRL trainers Brian and Shane Anderton and the 8yr-old is by the WRL stud sire, Gallant Guru. Gallant Boy was reared at the North Taieri establishment.
Gallant Boy, who drew the outside barrier in a 14-horse field, dropped to the rear early and jockey Terry Moseley guided him along the inner to wear down the favourite Boots 'N' All by half a head.
Gallant Boy had finished second in the race last year to stablemate Tommy Tucker, another son of Gallant Guru. Coulee, another of the progeny of Gallant Guru, won the race in 2017 for WRL when it was a handicap. The WRL stable has also won the race with A Gordon For Me (1992-93) and Perceptible (2002). Tommy Tucker finished last in the race this year after a severe check at the 1200m.
Gallant Boy is a brother to Patrick Erin, winner of the group one $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap at Randwick in September. Patrick Erin won 10 of his 21 starts from the WRL stable before he was sent to the Sydney stable of Chris Waller in February, 2018. He has been spelled since his last start win in the Metropolitan and he is due to trial before a return to racing. Both horses were bred by Pat Smith, of Christchurch who died in May last year. His estate has continued in the ownership in Gallant Boy and as part-owner of Patrick Erin. His widow, Janis was at Wingatui on Saturday to accept the trophy.
Mega Babe (by Personal Escort), the dam of Gallant Boy and Patrick Erin, died in 2013.
WRL figured in the wins of Orepuki Lad (listed $50,000 Fire and Mechanical Dunedin Gold Cup ) and Taieri Gem(rating 72 1400m) at the premier meeting on Saturday. Orepuki Lad, who displayed staying ability to lead for most of the way over 2400m is by WRL sire Raise The Flag from The Star Gazer. Taieri Gem (Gallant Guru - La Gem) is trained at WRL for breeders Brian and Lorraine Anderton and the Progressive syndicate. She was ridden by recently appointed forewoman for the stable Courtney Barnes.
"I have bred from The Star Gazer with the help of Wayne Stewart (WRL stud manager),'' said Cecil Ferguson, of Orepuki (Southland). Ferguson is in the 10-person Ten Deep syndicate, who have Orepuki Lad in the Riverton stable of Graham and Michael Eade.