Greene’s Wanganui trip pays off

Te Rapa trainer David Greene turned his back on the local race meeting on Saturday and took three runners to Wanganui instead, making a 600km round trip that proved to be well worthwhile.

BRANCIFORTI winning the WANGANUI MOTORS AND THE DYKE FAMILY
BRANCIFORTI winning the WANGANUI MOTORS AND THE DYKE FAMILY Picture: Race Images PN

Greene won the Wanganui Motors and the Dyke Family (1600m) with Branciforti, who led all the way and ran her Rating 75 rivals off their feet in the $40,000 race. Stablemate Goldiluxe later ran second in the $25,000 Palamountains Animal Nutrition Maiden (1340m), with Youledo close up in a blanket finish to the Loaders Wanganui (2040m).

Branciforti  was ridden by Sam Spratt, who drove the four-year-old forward from the starting gate and quickly took command. She charged down the back straight at high speed, and after having a small breather coming down the side of the track, quickened again after rounding the home turn.

The chasers tried their hardest to reel her in down the home straight, with the well-backed Sindacato getting the closest, but Branciforti kept herself well out of their reach and landed an upset win by two lengths.

Branciforti was having her first start since July and was sent out as a $20 chance. She has now had nine career starts for three wins, a second and $43,085 in stakes.

"I thought she was really impressive today," Greene said. "This race wasn't really on our radar originally. We took her down to Hastings for the Sunday meeting there a few weeks ago (November 19), but the track ended up a Heavy9 and we scratched her. We had to make alternative arrangements, and it's worked out really well in the end.

"I'm not sure what the rest of the season will have in store for her now. I thought it was quite a big step up today, going from midweek races on the synthetic up to a Rating 75 on Saturday against what seemed like a pretty smart field. But she handled that step well today and should hopefully have another win or two in her through the rest of the campaign. It seems like a fast-run mile on top of the ground suits her really well."

Branciforti races in the blue and white hooped colours of owner-breeder Sir Peter Vela's Pencarrow Stud. She is by Belardo out of the Pins mare Huluava, which makes her a half-sister to the black-type winner William Wallace. Another half-sister, Hirondelle, is the dam of Group One winner Pignan, while other close relatives include the Group performers Hasselhoof and Vercors.
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