Fifth win in Riccarton feature
White Robe Lodge trainers Brian and Shane Anderton won the listed Great Easter Handicap (1400m) at Riccarton for the fifth time on Saturday (5/5/2018). Fascinate, ridden by Chris Johnson, romped home three and a half lengths clear of her nearest rival at odds of 34 to one in the $50,000 race.
It was the tenth and most important win for the rising 8yr-old Falkirk - Zerperfluous mare raced by breeders Brian and Lorraine Anderton and Parr Bloodstock Ltd (Eric Parr, of Ashburton).
Brian and Shane won the Great Easter Handicap with A Gordon For Me in 1994 and 97 (when the race was run at Motukarara). They also won the race with Flight Point (2008) and the ill-fated Royal Flight (2011).
"She (Fascinate) will have a break and I have got in the back of my mind starting her in the Winter Cup (at Riccarton in August) before she goes to stud in the spring,'' said Brian Anderton.
Fascinate will join the recently retired Coulee in the broodmare band at WRL. Coulee (Gallant Guru - Cherry Creek) won the group three South Island Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton in 2016 and 2017 and the g3 White Robe Lodge Weight-For-Age (1600m) at Wingatui in 2018.
Zerperfluous, the dam of Fascinate is a half sister by Zerpour to Wise Men Say, who won a maiden hurdle race at Wanganui on Sunday. Wise Men Say was having his first race since he won the prestigious Great Northern Steeplechase at Ellerslie in September. The Yamanin Vital - Vaguely Famous gelding bred by Brian and Lorraine and Eric Parr also won the prestigious McGregor Grant Steeple at Ellerslie last season. He is trained at Wanganui by Raymond and Mark Connors, who won the open steeple at Wanganui on Sunday with Max, bred by Brian, Lorraine and Hec Anderton. Max is by Gallant Guru from Vitique, by Yamanin Vital and from the same family as Fascinate and Wise Men Say, tracing to Princess Mellay, winner of the New Zealand Oaks and NZ Cup (1970 and 71) at Riccarton when trained by the late Hector Anderton.
The father and son Connors have had great success over some 25 year with members of the family, including Blood Brotha (Wellington and two NZ Cups), Hypnotize (three Northern Steeples and three Pakuranga Hunt Cups), King Johny (Manawatu Classic) and Our Jonty (Northern Steeple). Vitique is a sister to Hypnotize.