Waipipi Lad makes it back-to-back wins

By: Mark Nowell @MarkANowell

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Waipipi Lad led from pillar to post for the second time in as many races here at Te Rapa, with a gritty front-running display taking out the $30,000 Jorja’s 14th Birthday (Rating 85) over 1600 metres.

The Jon Miller trained gelding hit the ground running from barrier one to share the lead with Kitaya (D.Johnson). Turning for home in the driving rain, the pair distanced themselves from the rest of the field. Kitya ranged alongside but Waipipi Lad responded to rider’s Sam Spratt urgings to prevail with a late push to win by length. Hotshot Lass (A.Collett) finished best of the rest in third place, two lengths back.

Waipipi Lad’s winning time was 1:41.47 (last 600 in 37.64) on a Heavy 10 track after stewards downgraded the track from Slow9.

“I said to Sam (Spratt) at the track recently that I had a horse that would suit her, so that’s two rides for two wins now,” trainer Jon Miller said.

“He got in with the minimum off his rating (70) and I suppose he’ll go up five points or so, so I’ll need to check the programmes to see what’s next.”

Waipipi Lad received seven points for the win, and still looks well placed in the Rating 85 grade after six wins and 12 placings earning $107,000 in prizemoney for owners J C Grainger, R H J Harrison & C J Pennell.