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Carpe Diem seizes Foxton Cup

3 minute read

Carpe Diem relished the heavy track and returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in over a year in The Foxton Cup 2040 at Wanganui on Saturday.

CARPE DIEM (outside) winning the THE FOXTON CUP
CARPE DIEM (outside) winning the THE FOXTON CUP Picture: Race Images Photo

The winter specialist had recorded four of his prior five career victories in heavy conditions, most recently last May at Trentham, and that factor was duly noted by punters who backed him into a $5 second-favourite behind King Of Hearts ($4.10).

Waitarere Beach trainer Brendon McDermott secured the services of Warren Kennedy for the Cup and he allowed Carpe Diem  to settle one off the fence in fourth while Rocktilyoudrop controlled proceedings boldly in front.

Nearing the 800m, Kahu Rock, who defeated Carpe Diem by the narrowest of margins in last year's edition, took control and made his claim for back-to-back titles, but Kennedy directed the gelding to the outside rail in the home straight in search of better ground and he burst to the lead at the 400m.

Phats and So Call Me  fought hard to catch Carpe Diem, but the victory was all sewn up as he stormed home by 1 ¾ lengths.

Kennedy had studied the track pattern prior to his first ride at Wanganui since entering New Zealand's jockey ranks 18 months ago and was pleased to see his plan come to fruition.

"I watched replays of it being wet here, and it seems that generally the outside is the better going," he said.

"It was a nice 2040m race, I could just bide my time and have a good look at the track.

"He enjoys the wet track, and when they're going well you just have to let them go. He started to track up really nicely at the 800, so I just said if you want to run, you go boy.

"He had a look around at the 200 and had a little shift, but when they came at him he rallied again. It was a really courageous win."

A son of Jimmy Choux, Carpe Diem was bred by Lisa Dunbar of Timberlee Thoroughbreds, out of a Scenic mare in Fashion Society.

McDermott co-races the eight-year-old, who has earned over $157,000 in stakes in 64 starts.

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