Ritchie celebrates big win

Howzat! Jockey Sam Weatherley celebrates his win on Mahrajaan.

Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie has celebrated his second New Zealand Cup win – 14 years after the first one.

Ritchie watched as six-year-old gelding Mahrajaan upset the odds to win Saturday’s Group 3 Martin Collins 160th New Zealand Cup over 3200m at Riccarton.

Mahrajaan won three times in England over 2000m and 2400m before Ritchie bought him for a little over $150,000 at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses-In-Training Sale in Newmarket late last year.

He bought it with the specific purpose of targeting the Cup which he won with My Scotsgrey in 2009.

“Last year we didn’t have a single runner in the Melbourne Cup Carnival or down here in Christchurch, and I wanted to do something about it and see if I could find a nice staying horse to aim at these good races,” he said.

“We were hoping to get him to either the Melbourne Cup or the New Zealand Cup. We soon decided that he probably wouldn’t have the speed for a Melbourne Cup, so we concentrated on Riccarton instead. It’s great to pull it off.

“He can have a break now, but probably not a particularly long one, since he’s not going to be a winter or a wet-autumn horse.”   – Additional reporting, Loveracing NZ

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