Winners keep flowing for Raise The Flag
By Jonny Turner
The longer the season goes on, the better it gets for Raise The Flag.
The White Robe Lodge sire has continued his incredible recent form by producing winners on both sides of the Tasman.
Progressive Riccarton galloper Athene powered through testing conditions to score career win number two on her home track last weekend.
Athene has returned from a spell like a horse that is ready to move through the grades.
The 4yr-old produced an excellent first up run for trainer Neill Ridley, working home stylishly over 1000m.
Athene relished the step up to 1400m second up to produce a win that Ridley doubts will be her last.
"She had gone a good race first up over 1000m in far stronger company, so I thought she was a good chance," the trainer told NZ Racing Desk.
"She keeps improving so with some more time on her side I think she can win a couple more."
Bred by Lesley Spence, Athene is by Raise The Flag from her breeder's smart former racemare, Zenagain.
The Skagen mare won six times, including on Champions Day at Wingatui, and placed on another 10 occasions in 35 starts.
Raise The Flag continued his brilliant run in Australia when Sollevare won a maiden hurdle event at Pakenham earlier this month.
The gelding showed toughness and superior staying prowess when diving late to win over former New Zealand galloper, Instigator.
At just 4yrs-old, Sollevare's jumping career has big potential.
His victory came in just his third start over hurdles for Cranbourne trainer, Tony Rosolini.
Bred in New Zealand in Judge John Clapham, Sollevare is by Raise The Flag from his four race winning Cullen mare, Avoid.
Fellow White Robe Lodge sire Gallant Guru has also been getting in on the winning action recently.
Arite Guru made it career win number four when winning at Avondale last week for trainers Shaun and Emma Clotworthy.
The 8yr-old was bred by stud client John Williams from his Rua Rukana mare, Arurite.
Williams has also bred five race winner Aruriteson (Yamanin Vital) and two race winner Heberite (Raise The Flag) from the mare.