Ray’s faith in Apieceoflou justified - but his mates in the pub didn’t back him!
Apieceoflou showed in emphatic fashion at Alexandra Park tonight why trainer Ray Green has been resisting sending the horse to Brisbane.
For the first time in his short career, Apieceoflou enjoyed the run of the race in the opening event, the fourth $20,000 Sires’ Stakes heat.
And he delivered on the promise Green has seen in him for many months when he swept up the passing lane under the urgings of Andre Poutama to down the heavily backed favourites Luke John and General Montana.
The Sweet Lou three-year-old clocked a tidy 2:02.6 for the 1700 metres, a mile rate of 1:56 flat, and reeled off impressive closing sectionals of 55.1 and 26.9.
Watching the race from a pub in Christchurch, where he is preparing Copy That and American Dealer for features at Ashburton on Monday, Green delighted in the success.
“That was very satisfying for me. They’ve been nagging me to send the horse to Brisbane for quite a while but he’s too good for that.
“I’m sitting in the pub here telling everyone about how incredibly unlucky he’s been but no one backed him - and he’s paid $26 and $7!
“That’s the first decent trip he’s had and it was against better class horses than he’s been racing.
“I’ve been saying for a long time that he’s a nice horse who’s only going to get better and better. He’s got a ton of potential.”
Green says Apieceoflou has always shown plenty and has a beautiful attitude.
“He’s a big horse and if anything he’s still a bit weak. We gelded him, which sucked a bit of strength out of him, but he’ll get stronger with time.
“His pedigree tells you he needs time. The mare’s half sister went 1:47 in the States but not ’til later. It’s a slow maturing breed.”
Apieceoflou is out of the unraced Rocknroll Hanover mare Wantapieceofme whose half sister was world champion Shebestingin (1:47) winner of 18 races and $760,000.
It’s family full of big winners with her other relations including Hop Sing (1:48.6, $973,000, 27 USA wins) and Bono Bests (1:49.6, $532,000, 25 USA wins).
Green credited Woodlands Stud principal Andrew Grierson with alerting him to that fact late on sale day in Chistchurch, and led to Lincoln Farms’ boss John Street paying $85,000 for the colt.
Green doesn’t intend wrecking the horse by rushing him into the $150,000 Woodlands Stud Sires’ Stakes Final at Addington next month against stablemate American Dealer and the likes of Krug.
“I don’t think he’s ready for that yet. Maybe he’ll be ready for the derbies later on when the longer distance will suit better. He’ll be a different animal then.”
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Our runners this week
Saturday night at Albion Park
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
Friday night at Auckland
Race 2: Frisco Bay
“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”
Race 2: Lenny Lincoln
“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”
Race 3: Obadiah Dragon
“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”
Race 3: Leo Lincoln
“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”