Matamata horseman Cody Cole already has a win on the board since the resumption of racing and he is hoping to strike again while the iron is hot. The 30-year-old will have a trio of runners on the 12-race card at Te Rapa on Saturday, including a couple of strong chances.
Five-year-old mare Vainglory won at Counties a fortnight ago and has already had early specking when the TAB released their fixed odds market, supported from $4.50 into $3.60 for the BGP Battlers Cup (2000m).
Vainglory will be ridden by Sam Weatherley on Saturday, who replaces Michael Coleman who was injured at the trials on Tuesday, breaking his femur and his pelvis. “She seems to be doing everything right at home and she worked nicely on Tuesday,” Cole said. “Unfortunately, Mickey (Coleman) rode her and he won’t be able to get back on now. His words were ‘she’s spot on mate’. “If what she is doing at home is anything to go by, I think she is a bit better than she was last time.”
Cole believes the run a fortnight ago will hold his charge in good stead, with the Te Rapa track currently a Slow9 and fine weather forecast. “You are probably going to need it as I would say the track is going to be holding,” Cole said. “The outside gate is a bit of a hassle, but she is going to get back by design anyway, that is her pattern and let’s hope there is not too much on-speed bias.”
Like many in racing, Cole was devastated to learn of the injury to Coleman, with the career of the 50-year-old rider potentially in doubt, given his medical history, which includes suffering from ulcerative colitis, which causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract. “I haven’t been training long but Mickey has been riding for me the last two seasons and has been a massive help,” Cole said.
“He is a brilliant bloke and it is really unfortunate to see this happen and it could potentially be the end of his career as a jockey. “We have quite a nice strike rate together, he has had six wins and six placings from 21 rides for me. “He has been awesome. He comes and rides work and he doesn’t have to but he just enjoys it.
Cole is also looking forward to the first start of recent Te Rapa trials winner Nancy Spain in the Te Rapa Event Centre – Open Again (1000m). “We really like the filly and you can’t fault her on what she has done but she probably needs to learn a bit of ring-craft,” he said. “She has had a couple of trials on the inside track at Te Rapa and done the same thing, sat three-wide and done it pretty easy but at the same time hasn’t learnt a whole heap in the process. “If she doesn’t jump and put herself right there, we’re not sure what she will do, she is just lacking a bit of ring-craft but has plenty of upside.”
The rising four-year-old has been patiently handled and was ready to trial when lockdown hit but hadn’t been seen publicly since winning a Te Rapa trial in July last year. “We have waited until she was a late three-year-old because she hasn’t been the soundest filly. I think there is plenty of ability there.”
Pearl Davone is Cole’s other runner on the day and is drawn barrier one and Cole is keen to measure where she is at after describing a trial placing at Ellerslie recently as a “pass mark.”
Also figuring at the Ellerslie trials was impressive heat winner Sweet Molly Malone, who is likely to be seen on raceday soon. “She seems to be training on nicely and she will head to Ellerslie next week all going to plan and we are looking forward to getting her out there,” Cole said. “She has always been a bit awkward left-handed and we always had that in the back of our minds. The trial showed the benefit of the bit of time the owners have given her.”
Meanwhile, Cole reports three-win galloper Kinshasa will continue her career across the Tasman. “Obviously you don’t like to see it as a trainer when you have put a bit of time into a horse but you can’t blame the owners for doing what is best for the horse and it is all part of the business,” Cole said.