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Johnathan Parkes brushed aside an earlier disappointment at Te Rapa to celebrate another Group One victory aboard the star sprinter Start Wondering.
The Wanganui jockey produce a copybook ride on the Wanganui six-year-old to win Saturday’s NRM Sprint on the Evan and J. J. Rayner-trained speedster.
|Start Wondering downs Natuzzi Photo: Trish Dunell|
Parkes was naturally downhearted when Volpe Veloce ran fourth after failing to stay in the Gr.2 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic, but the smile was back on his face four races later.
He bounced Start Wondering out of the gates to trail the leader Saracino and they were into the clear 400 metres from home.
“We had a good barrier and I just wanted to get him out and going,” Parkes said.
“It couldn’t have worked out any better when we got the split at the top of the straight.
“He just goes out and gives his all and he’s won nicely again.”
Since his return from Sydney following a bleeding attack, Start Wondering has won three of his five starts, including the Gr.1 Railway Stakes and he only failed by a nose to also claim the Gr.1 Telegraph.
“He’s a very good horse and it was another very good ride,” said Evan Rayner, who prepares the gelding for his Wanganui owner Steve Gudsell. “I trained for his uncle nearly 50 years ago!”
He wouldn’t be drawn on Start Wondering’s next target, although the Gr.1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic at Otaki in a fortnight’s time is most likely.
Natuzzi found the line strongly to finish runner-up ahead of the three-year-olds Saracino and Heroic Valour. The favourite Kawi was tardily away and he worked home late to finish fifth. – NZ Racing Desk.