A couple of new Cambridge-based licence-holders celebrated their first wins at Tauranga on Saturday, but only one of them was on course for the special occasion.
Catherine Cameron saddled up Light Shadow, her first starter as a permit-to-train licence-holder, to win the BOP Punter Of The Year 1400, while Nick Smith was credited with his first NZ training success with Meeska Mooska in the Mico’s – Steve’s Plumbing & Gas 2100.
An accomplished show jumping rider, Catherine was issued with her permit-to-train licence on April 6. She has been associated with many winners from the Gary Alton stable and experienced highlights with dual Group One winner Historian. They were moments she will always cherish, but right up there is last Saturday’s win with Light Shadow, a six-year-old she races with Alton and Shirley Fung, from Hong Kong.
“He’s always had any amount of ability but he’s had plenty of issues, too,” she said. “I’m rapt to get my first win with him.”
The Australian-bred by Holy Roman Emperor began his career in the Alton stable and was a “real handful” early on. He then headed to Hong Kong where he trialled (unsuccessfully) though never raced, and returned home after Fung offered Alton and Cameron shares in him.
Light Shadow was third on debut behind the talented Red Striker at Te Rapa in November 2014 and won his next two starts at Ellerslie. His record now reads 19 starts for three wins and six placings.
Smith, who trains in partnership with Graham Thomas, watched the Trackside coverage of Meeska Mooska’s win from Riccarton, where he was in charge of the Stephen Marsh-trained Seize The Moment, who finished the closest of seconds in the Listed Christchurch Casino Easter Cup.
Smith has been training with Thomas since January and a win for the pair was on the cards after a spate of recent placings. From the previous five starters, the pair had picked up a second and three thirds.
– NZ Racing Desk