Manawatu Cup held to Ransom

Saturday’s G3 Manawatu Cup didn’t go according to Gary Vile’s pre-race plan but the Awapuni trainer still celebrated a second success in his home town feature.

Vile expected Ransomed (NZ) to take a forward position and admitted to some early nerves when the favourite settled at the rear of the field.  “He wasn’t meant to be that far back and I had my heart in my mouth,” Vile said.  “It’s very hard to come over the top of them, but once they turned for home and got balanced, he was never going to get beaten.

“He is a good horse and taking the right steps.”  Vile prepares the gelding in partnership with owner-breeder Jean Walsh.  He also trained All Square to win the 2005 Manawatu Cup.

Ransomed (5g Handsome Ransom – Ski Queen by Sky Filou) finished on strongly over the closing 200 metres to down the former $800,000 Karaka yearling Medici (Encosta de Lago) with pacemaker Palm Island (Dubai Destination) battling on stoutly for third.

“I got a little bit further back than I wanted and had to keep my cool,” jockey Johnathon Parkes said.  “He came into it well from the 800 and just kept kicking.  He looked great today and it was a top training effort.”

Ransomed ran the 2300 metre trip right out to boost Vile’s confidence looking ahead to the G2 Wellington Cup (2400m) at Trentham on January 26.

Ransomed is the first and last winner from Ski Queen who was a Trentham winner for the same connections in April 1995.  Second dam Kazakina (Kazakstaan) is a half-sister to the dam of G1 Auckland Cup winner Kerry Lane.

His sire Handsome Ransom (Red Ransom) defeated Exceed and Excel in the 2003 Black Opal Stakes.  He came back at three and was runner-up to subsequent G1 Caulfield Guineas winner In Top Swing in the inaugural Golden Rose.

Handsome Ransom retired to Ashwell Farm before transferring to Wellfield Lodge in 2007.  There have been 79 winners of 167 races at a 46% strike-rate.