Leading Kiwi apprentice Rory Hutchings produced a perfect ride aboard Lady Cumquat (3f Duke of Marmalade x Imposingly, by Zabeel) to win the Group III Higgins Manawatu Classic.
Hutchings settled Lady Cumquat midfield on the fence before saving ground while improving across the top.
He came around one horse to drive the favourite to the front 200 metres from home and they raced clear to win with authority.
“I got travelling at the half-mile and then got stuck behind a couple of slow ones, but she grabbed the bridle and got the run,” Hutchings said. “She was strong on the line.”
He had partnered the daughter of Duke Of Marmalade (IRE) in her previous three appearances for trainer Roger James, who prepared her recently-retired half-sister Full Of Spirit to win the Group III
Adrian Knox Stakes and finish runner-up in the Group I Makfi Challenge Stakes.
Lady Cumquat has two wins and four placings from seven starts and may also head to Sydney for the Group III ATC Adrian Knox Stakes.
Passed in when offered by Westbury Stud at the NZB Premier Yearling Sale, Lady Cumquat is the 11th stakes-winner for Duke of Marmalade and is the second stakes-winner for Zabeel mare Imposingly.