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Kays bag another Riccarton major
Paddy and Sylvia Kay have made their mark in feature flat events at Riccarton and they can now add a prestige jumping win to their record.
The couple from Manakau, near Levin, bred and raced the outstanding stayer Sapio, who was trained by Sylvia to win New Zealand Cups in 1995 and 1998.
Sapio also won the Gr.1 Doomben Cup, finished runner up in the Gr.1 QE II Cup in Hong Kong and ran creditably in two Melbourne Cups for eighth and ninth respectively behind Saintly and Might And Power.
The Kay’s latest Riccarton star is the Kevin Myers-prepared Ngario, who followed up his opening day victory in the Sydenham Hurdles with another dominant performance to triumph in Wednesday’s Hospitality NZ Canterbury Grand National Hurdles.
“I don’t know whether to laugh or cry – it’s such a relief,” Sylvia Kay said.
“Kevin has done such a good job with the horse, it’s just marvellous.”
Kay prepared Ngario to win eight races on the flat before she transferred the son of Captain Rio to the Wanganui trainer earlier this year to prepare for a jumping career.
“You can only do so much where we are with schooling and trying to get a rider,” she said.
Ngario has been an instant hit in his new role with four lead-up wins ahead of another fine performance to land the National in the hands of the recently crowned champion jumps jockey Shaun Fannin.
“Matt Gillies started off the season on the horse and unfortunately he had a fall and I was lucky enough to pick up the ride and keep it,” he said.
Ngario loped along behind the pace before he cruised to the front three flights from home with a stablemate emerging as the only threat.
“I heard Gagarin come up outside us, but to my horse’s credit he kicked away again,” Fannin said.
Ngario won by four and a half lengths from Gagarin and Gillies with the Melbourne-based Irishman Tom Ryan guiding Ready Eddie into third.– NZ Racing Desk.