Ghibellines serves up Wingatui reminder

Uphold’s recent win at Riverton started a fine run of new year form for White Robe Lodge’s breeding and training arms. Photo by Monica Toretto.

By Jonny Turner

Ghibellines showed both his class and his versatility as a sire on a standout day at Wingatui on Saturday.

The White Robe Lodge stallion produced wins with Live Drama and Direct Flight as well as placings with Exchange and Verdigris.

Live Drama (Ghibellines-Sheeza Drama-Pure Theatre) again showed her class when running to a powerful win over 1200m

The four-year-old, bred and sold by Brian and Lorraine Anderton, never looked like being beaten when jumping well and then trailing before powering away from her rivals to win for trainer Lance Robinson and rider Tina Comignaghi.

That victory came after Direct Flight (Ghibellines-Preferred Flight-Raise The Flag) showed her promise when flashing home to win over 1600m.

Third last and buried on the inner before the home turn, the mare bred and raced by White Robe Lodge studmasters Wayne and Karen Stewart had plenty of work in front of her.

Rider Courtney Barnes weaved the four-year-old between runners as she unleashed a victory that suggested she has plenty more in store and that she will get over more ground.

And she will get the opportunity to do that on the same track on Champions Day.

“She had been going good races and been pretty consistent before she won,” Brian Anderton said.

“From her wide draw on Saturday we decided to go back and she ran home really well.”

“She looks like she will be a nice staying mare.”

“There is a good race for over 2200m at Wingatui coming up that should suit her.”

Known to many as a sire of smart sprinter-milers, Direct Flight’s win is a strong reminder of Ghibellines’ versatility as a stallion.

“I said all of the way through he was going to be a good staying sire,” Anderton said. 

“Because they show a bit of speed some people get up them a bit, but his grandmother (Camarena) won the Queensland Derby and there is plenty of stamina further back in his pedigree.”

The consistent Raise Ya Cards (Raise The Flag-Ya Ya-Yamanin Vital) filled a White Robe Lodge quinella when enjoying a step back up in distance to run second to Direct Flight.

Exchange (Ghibellines-Swapping-Encosta De Lago) and Verdigris (Ghibellines-Swelter-Yamanin Vital) both showed they were close to adding another win to their sire’s record when running second and third respectively over 1400m.

Ghibellines’ big weekend started before Saturday’s meeting, Ghibellines’ five-win mare Zigallene (Ghibellines- Zigalong- Danzighill) ran second in the Ballina Cup.

Raise The Flag was also to the fore at Wingatui on Saturday when Ray’s In Command (Raise The Flag-Kay’s Command-Towkay) continued his march through the grades with a dominant victory over 1400m.

The five-year-old made it five wins from 15 starts when scoring by nearly three lengths in his first start in open company.

Raise The Flag also produced the third placegetter in the Waikouaiti Cup when Orepuki Lad (Raise The Flag-The Star Gazer-The Gladiator) dug deep to go down by just a narrow margin.

The success kept coming for White Robe Lodge at Wingatui when its training arm produced Montserrat to win over 1600m.

The five-year-old produced an impressive performance when bursting down the outer to score.

Gallant Guru has not missed out on the fine recent run of form of the whole White Robe Lodge operation.

The stallion scored a winning double at the recent Riverton meeting when

Uphold (Gallant Guru-Sustain-Danzighill) and The Mole (Gallant Guru-The Freckle-Grosvenor) ran to victories.

Owned and bred by Brian and Lorraine Anderton, Uphold is now enjoying a spell after breaking her maiden over 1200m in just her fourth start.

“I got her home and had a look at her” Brian Anderton said.

“I didn’t have to ring the owner up, I put her out in the paddock.”

“She is a big, lean mare and she will thrive with a break.”