Ride High returns
By Adam Hamilton
KIMA Frenning can’t wait for Saturday night.
That’s when she gets to drive the awesome and as yet untapped Ride High for the first time in his comeback race at Melton.
The lightly-raced Ride High, who boasts 10 wins and a third from just 11 starts, is back from a minor throat operation at Melton.
It’s a huge boost for trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin as it comes just a week or so after their other stable star, Poster Boy, was retired to stud.
Stewart and Tonkin often jokingly argued over which of the star pair was better, Stewart siding with Poster Boy, but Tonkin adamant it was Ride High.
Frenning partnered Ride High for the first time when he sharpened-up for his comeback race in a Ballarat trial on June 9.
He won the trial by 20m Ballarat trial and mile-rated a slick 1min55.2sec for 2200m, but most impressed with closing splits of 54.2 and 26.9sec.
“That was ridiculous. It was actually insane how easily he did that. I didn’t even turn the stick and he ran those times and won by so far,” Frenning said.
“I don’t know I’ve ever had a feeling like that on a horse and I’ve been lucky enough to drive some really good ones.
“I just can’t wait to drive him a race. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet.”
Frenning, who now works for Stewart and Tonkin and is doing the bulk of the stable driving, is Ride High’s fourth driver. Chris Alford has driven him four times for as many wins, Mark Pitt five times for four wins and Greg Sugars twice for as many wins.
Ride High won the Breeders Crown 3YO final in August 2018, but then spent 14 months sidelined with a leg injury.
The rising six-year-old returned for two wins late last year, but didn’t quite look himself and was found to have a breathing issue with required a minor procedure.
He’s drawn ideally in gate two Saturday night, should work forward and find the front and looks a class above his six rivals.
The other star attraction of the Melton meeting is classy trotter McLovin.
He’s two-from-two this campaign and with Victoria’s zoned racing still in place, he meets much the same field as the past two wins again this week for Andy and Kate Gath.
The Gaths also have promising Kiwi import Zigzagzoo going for his second win in as many Aussie runs at the Melton meeting.
The Majestic Son gelding was bought by Norm Jenkin, who races McLovin and Tornado Valley, after four placings in eight NZ runs.
He looked terrific leading throughout against a weak field at Ballarat to win by 16.5m at his debut for the Gaths on June 11.