Direct Flight impresses first up


By Jonny Turner

Direct Flight started what is set to be a big campaign when impressing in her first-up victory at Gore.

Direct Flight (Ghibellines-Preferred Flight-Raise The Flag) took out a Pearl Series event for owners Wayne and Karen Stewart and Renee and Nick Roulston when powering home late to win.

The victory showed just how well the six-year-old has come up and considering she still has plenty of improvement to come, Direct Flight looks to be in for a great autumn.

“She has always had good ability but we haven’t always seen the best of her,” Brian Anderton said.

“She would have a race on the float, run a race at the races and then run a race on the way home.”

“Shane has changed her work around quite a bit and it was really good to see her show her true ability.”

Direct Flight won’t run on Champions Day at Wingatui, but she has a host of options in front of her heading into the late summer and autumn.

“We will freshen her up and look for a race after that.”

“There is a hell of a lot of good racing coming up in the autumn.”

“There’s Riverton and a lot of good races at Riccarton.”

“With the way she has come up there are plenty of options for her and she should be in for a very good campaign.”

Direct Flight completed the first leg of a breeding double at Gore for Wayne and Karen Stewart.

Skahib, also bred by Jack and Emma Stewart, powered to a nice maiden victory for trainer Amber Hoffman.

The Proisir five-year-old was sold to Graeme Anderson at the 2019 South Island Sale.

Direct Flight’s victory at Gore continued an outstanding week for Ghibellines.

Also among his Gore results, the stallion produced more black-type with Abit Sassy (Ghibellines-Olden Days-No Excuse Needed) running third in the Listed Gore Guineas.

Earlier in the week at Ashburton, Ghibellines produced a winning treble.

Avitus (Ghibellines-Italian Miss-Showcasing) got her sire’s winning run underway when scoring her second consecutive victory for trainer Steven Woodsford.

Then then Lance Robinson trained Zappolino (Ghibellines-Zuzana-Shocking) showed his promise as a stayer when scoring his maiden win over 2200m.

The Robinson stable completed a winning double with the stock of Ghibellines when Archerfield (Ghibellines-Gurtie-Gallant Guru) scored his second consecutive win over 1400m.

In another strong result, the Robinson stable added to its outstanding record with the stock of Ghibellines when Live Drama (Ghibellines-Sheeza Drama-Pure Theatre) ran 2nd in the Listed Timaru Stakes at Riccarton.

The classy mare was bred and sold by White Robe Lodge at the 2018 South Island Sale.