Regan and Robbie sweep Ascot
By Jonny Turner
The Regan and Robbie show swept all before them, paving the way for some big race targets in their two-from-two effort at Ascot Park on Saturday.
The Regan Todd trained Treacherous Gall booked herself the chance of being aimed at New Zealand’s best two-year-old fillies races when taking out the Northern Southland meeting’s Group 3 Fillies Classic.
Just one race prior, also thanks to a pinpoint drive from Robbie Close, Street Hawk secured a start in the Group 2 Southern Supremacy Stakes Final with a smart heat win.
Perhaps the only slightly concerning moment on an otherwise perfect day was when Treacherous Gall was following a breaking runner early in her feature win.
But Close had the situation well in hand.
“I thought we might have been in a bit of strife early, but it all panned out perfectly for her,” Todd said.
“She is a lovely wee filly, you can’t say a bad word about her.”
“She has got a good gait, a great attitude, she is pretty willing.”
Todd will now send Treacherous Gall to the spelling paddock.
With the country’s best fillies races later in the season, it is a calculated risk which will see the Group 3 winner miss the upcoming fillies features in Canterbury.
“She is going to the paddock now, you are sort of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
“Even before I brought her down south I had a bit of a plan for her and I am going to stick to it.”
“It is a good chance to have a spell now and aim for the big fillies races later in the season with this new calendar.”
“Otherwise, they can’t be everywhere.
“There are two Group 3s, we will give them a miss which sounds a bit silly, but it will be better in the long term.”
“She has been in quite a while too, she came in in September-October and she has only had a week off after she qualified in that time.
“We will turn her out now and hopefully have her back humming in October for the Sires Stakes.”
Street Hawk impressed when charging home to beat a small but talented field in his Southern Supremacy Stakes Heat win.
The three-year-old also flew home for third in a heat won by Sand Wave last week before going even better on Saturday.
“It has worked out perfectly for him.”
“Robbie and I flew back home after Winton and I came back down on Tuesday and I couldn’t believe it when I saw him.”
“He thrived on the trip down there.”
“He was nice and bright and seemed to enjoy it.”
Saturday’s win means the pressure is off Todd to try to qualify Street Hawk for the final of the three-year-old series.
“That takes the heat off us, he doesn’t have to come back down until the final.”
“I can plot a bit of a path in Canterbury and head back down south and have a go.”
To round out a nearly perfect day in the sulky, Close also won with Port Pegasus, making it three victories from just four drives at Ascot Park. And then at Sunday's Westport Trotting Club's meeting on the grass at Rangiora Close recorded his second treble in two days, with wins with Buena Vista, Kali B and Sheza Purla.