Signify : Trish Dunell
Racha Cuneen’s stellar season continued at Trentham where he doubled his Group One tally with a boil-over success aboard Signify.
The 25-year-old, who opened his top-flight account in the spring aboard the star filly La Diosa in the NZ 1000 Guineas, guided the 45-1 shot to a narrow victory in Saturday’s J. R. & N. Berkett Telegraph.
“It’s amazing and I’m very grateful to have the opportunity, I’m glad I got the job done,” said Cuneen, who is apprenticed to Neill Ridley.
Signify came with a powerful late finish from the back to narrowly deny the Gr.1 Railway Stakes winner Start Wondering a notable double. The well-supported Perfect Fit finished third ahead of the dead-heaters Reilly Lincoln and Lady Zafira.
“I was travelling really well and I waited for as long as I could and then asked the horse to go and he got there,” Cuneen said.
Despite the closeness of the finish, he believed he had got in the deciding stride – “I was reasonably confident,” he said.
Signify is trained at Ashburton by the former leading jumps jockey Alex ‘Snooky’ Cowan, who was urged to have a crack at the race by Cuneen.
“Racha rode him when he ran second at Wingatui on Boxing Day and I told him that I had nominated the horse for the Telegraph,” said Cowan, whose wife Tracey owns the horse.
"If Cowan had been keen to sell "George" as a young horse, he was out of luck.
"Tracey wouldn't let me" he said. "It's her dreams and hopes that got him here today"
“He said you’ve got to run him and after Racha ran second in the Telegraph on Miss Seton Sands last year he had a good feel and knowledge around the race.”
Perfectly Ready very nearly had a Group winning double when Perfect Start was held up in the final stages of the Wellington Cup Group 3, she managed to get through a closing gap to take the lead, but couldn't maintain the lead and came in a close third.