Muniandy riding Tommy Tucker
Shankar Muniandy is the replacement rider for Jacob Lowry on Tommy Tucker in the $70,000 group three White Robe Lodge Weight-For-Age (1600m) at Wingatui on Saturday week, (February 3). Jacob Lowry, who has ridden Tommy Tucker in the last 10 of his 15 wins, among them the Canterbury Gold Cup (wfa 2000m), two Easter Cups at Riccarton and two Timaru Cups, was suspended from January 28 to February 6 inclusive for careless riding at Wingatui on Thursday (January 25). Lowry has ridden Tommy Tucker in 19 of his 20 starts since November, 2015. Muniandy has ridden Tommy Tucker in eight races and won on the Gallant Guru gelding at Cromwell in November, 2014.
Tommy Tucker was gallant in finishing second with 60kg, a length and a quarter from stablemate Coulee in the flagship race of the Otago Racing Club last year when it was run as a handicap. He will be allotted 59kg this year. Coulee, who carried 54kg last year will be allotted 57kg.
Trainer Brian Anderton is also considering the race for Fascinate and Gallant Boy.
"We will see how Gallant Boy performs under 60kg at Riccarton on Saturday (Timaru Stakes, 1400m),'' he said.
Fascinate finished third to All Black Magic and Tomm Jones at Wingatui on Thursday.
Hold It Harvey carried 58.5kg to win the White Robe in 2010 and 11. The Diamond One carried 57.5kg in her third successive win in 2016. Grey Way carried the same weight in his wins in 1976, 77 and 79. Bonecrusher(1988) and St James(1991) also carried that weight and A Gordon Fe Me carried 57kg in is second win in 1993. Pins N' Needles carried 57kg in her 2007 win.
The race this year will mark the revival of weight-for-age racing at Wingatui.
A race under wfa at Wingatui in February was held between 1979 and 1984. It was the D B Galaxy Stakes over 2200m sponsored by Dominion Breweries. Yipp's Secret, trained at Gore by Rex Cochrane and ridden by Jim Collett, won the first edition and won a similar race at Riccarton in April that year.
The 1980 winner was the 3yr-old Little Brown Jug, who won 11 of his 14 starts at that age including the New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas. He was trained at Riccarton by Peter Jones and ridden by Chilean expatriate Tito Poblete.
The Dennis brothers owned and trained The Fantasy (Ali Robinson) won in 1981. Trainer Brian Anderton provided to first two home in 1982 with Joyarty (Jim Pankhurst) and Auditory. Mary Wake (Neill Ridley) won the 1983 race on the Bill Hillis -trained Mary Wake and Chris Johnson rode Clansman to win in 1984 for Riccarton trainer Dave Kerr.
The WRL-trained Zabay was wearing the stylized colours of red and white chequers of owners, Markwood Lodge Ltd for the first time when she won over 1200m at Wingatui on Thursday. She came from last at the 500m in a 10-horse field. It was her second win and both have been at Wingatui.