The runaway leader of the National jockeys’ premiership, Danielle Johnson, notched her 100th winner for the season when she guided Te Akau Racing two-year-old Quattro Quinta to victory in the Listed IRT No.1 Wellesley Stakes (1000m) at Trentham on Saturday.
Installed a warm $2 Fixed Odds favourite, the Darci Brahma gelding certainly didn’t have things all his own way as he was attacked by Ansu and Magneto throughout the first 600m of the contest. Asked for a serious effort at the top of the straight, Quattro Quinta found a strong kick but was immediately set upon by fellow Matamata raider Wolfgang, who ranged up alongside for a fight to the finish.
Under strong riding, Quattro Quinta pulled out just enough to take the thick end of the prize from a brave Wolfgang, with Magneto fighting on well for third. Trainer Jamie Richards was pleased with the effort from his charge who was having his first run since finishing second at Pukekohe back in November.
“He’s a real little racehorse,” Richards said. “I think we have to make the most of him this season as I’m not sure if he has the scope to train on. “It was a good strong effort, helped by the fact he found the rail, which is a big assist to the two-year-olds. “He will go to the Matamata Slipper now (Group 3, 1200m) and then on to Auckland (Group 1 Sistema Stakes, 1200m) and Manawatu (Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes, 1400m).”
Johnson, who is over fifty wins clear of her nearest rival on the premiership ladder, was pleased with the fight Quattro Quinta displayed in the finish. “He gave his all, although I was waiting for him to change legs for the extra effort in the straight as the second horse wasn’t going away,” she said. “It was a real dogfight, but he won well.”
Bred and raced by a group including Nearco Stud Ltd, K W Fenton-Ellis MNZM, Westonlea Bloodstock Partnership & Waihi Livestock Ltd, Quattro Quinta is the fourth foal of Alamosa mare Quintette, a daughter of Group 2 New Zealand Cup (3200m) winner Everswindell.