Makarska Replicates Ruakaka Performance

A similar victory to her latest Ruakaka feat saw Pencarrow Racing’s Makarska (Keeper x Stanica) capture another win in the $20,000 A’Fare Caterers 1400 upon her return to Ruakaka on Saturday.

The four-year-old improved on her Ruakaka performance two weeks earlier, where she claimed a two-length victory in a time of 1.23.47, running this trip in a time of 1.22.91 for trainer’s Ken and Bev Kelso. Placing in over half of her raceday appearances, the Keeper mare is the winner of six races and has placed no further back than fifth this year.

“It was quite a dominant win,” commented co-trainer Ken Kelso. “We rode her back on purpose, she has a very good turn of foot which she showed, and she ran a very good time.

“I’ve spoken to Gary Cossey about her and we think at this stage we might aim her towards the Listed Opunake Cup which is an open handicap race over 1400m on 18 July. Providing the track isn’t too testing she will head there in three weeks but if the track comes up too heavy we have the option to go back to an open 1400m the following week at Ruakaka again.

“At this stage we don’t know what the handicapper has put her up to but we will aim her for the Opunake Cup which will be a nice chance for her to get some black-type.”

Beginning as the race-favourite for rider Brendon Hutton, Makarska was one of the first horses out of the barrier but was tailored towards the back as the field settled. Tracking The Rich Lister (NZ) (Spartacus) on the rail, she was pushed further back at the 900m to be second-to-last.

As the field straightened Makarska powered through the middle of the field, hitting the front with 100m to run and taking a clear two-length victory over Faraway Eyes (NZ) (Ustinov), who ranged up for second place, and The Rich Lister in third.

Owned by Sir Peter Vela, who bred her with Philip Vela, the daughter of Keeper is out of Group 1 performed Zabeel mare Stanica and is a half-sister to stakes-winner Rhythm To Spare (Pins), winner of the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes.

Makarska’s dam, Stanica, foaled a filly by All Too Hard in the 2014 breeding season.

Pencarrow Stud-bred Hasselhoof (Tavistock x Alpine) won later in the day by an impressive 11 lengths, now with two starts for two wins for trainer Donna Logan.