The Riccarton Park crowd is getting all too used to the masterful tactics of Warren Kennedy, and the premiership-leading hoop produced another black-type winning ride in guiding Fashion Shoot to victory in the Group 3 Canterbury Breeders' Stakes (1400m).
Kennedy arrived back in Christchurch on Wednesday fresh off a successful first day of the New Zealand Cup Carnival last Saturday, where he took out the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) with Crocetti and the Listed Metropolitan Handicap (2600m) with Nest Egg, and he didn't take long in adding to his black-type haul.
Navigating an awkward draw of 13 aboard the Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson-trained Fashion Shoot, Kennedy took the patient approach in settling the mare at the tail of the field behind a hot tempo set by Goldie's Chance.
Kennedy still had the full 16-horse field before him nearing the 400m where race favourite Watch Out looked ominous, but the six-year-old's strong turn-of-foot shone in the closing stages where she burst into the clear, wearing down a game Live Drama to score by a neck.
Underrated mares Miss Layla and Hi Yo Sass Bomb stormed home late to round out the first four placings in the feature.
Co-trainer Bergerson was delighted to see the daughter of Savabeel collect the valuable stakes victory following third placings in the Breeders' and the Group 3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) last season.
“That was some ride, I was watching it during the running and I was thinking ‘she can't win from there', but fair play to him (Kennedy), he was patient,” he said.
“We sort of thought we had to ride her cold today and just come at them with one last run and she was electric. It was a massive effort.
“On the way down we were confident, she was a touch disappointing at Trentham but maybe we rode her a bit too handy and she was just exposed.
“She was probably unlucky not to have picked up a black-type race before today, she's a lovely mare and lovely to deal with so it's fantastic to finally get a result for the team.”
“It's great to win a race sponsored by Windsor Park. They are great supporters of the industry and of us as a stable as well so a huge result.”
Kennedy was pleased to have executed his carefully planned ride aboard the Te Akau mare and see it pay off.
“It was always the plan to come up neutral because she's not the best breather so I had to get her breathing as soon as possible, they went fast and I was happy to be at the back,” he said.
“She travelled in a good rhythm, she was breathing lovely and midway through the race she started to kick up at me really nicely.
“Going the 1400m I was able to wait a little bit longer, get her into that good rhythm and she was building throughout the race, and when I showed her clear air at the 250m she really kicked smartly.
“I'm very happy to be out here again and riding another feature winner is fantastic.”