Sacha strikes in Opunake Cup

Sacha (NZ) further endeared herself to the Lisa Latta team winning the LR Opunake Cup at New Plymouth on Saturday.

“Everybody loves her.  She’s known as Lizzie around the stable and she’s just a pleasure to do anything with,” said Miranda Duffy who was standing in for Latta.  “We thought she would go well – she was her relaxed old self and she races best like that.”

Sacha (7m Keeper – Viva Romance by Machiavellian) settled off the pace for rider Darryl Bradley, who said the mare’s appearance had given him pre-race confidence. “I was more than happy to sit off a good speed,” he said.  “She picked up the bit at the half-way point and we got a lovely cart into the race.”

Sacha has now won 13 races in 79 starts for Levin couple Hoko and Nita Gardiner.  Saturday’s result was her third black-type victory following the 2010 Tauranga Classic and in this season’s Rangitikei Gold Cup.

The Awapuni based mare is the last foal of GB import Viva Romance who is a half-sister to the G3 Royal Ascot Queen Mary Stakes winners Romantic Myth (Mind Games) and Romantic Liason (Primo Dominie).

Sacha is one of 25 stakes winners among 286 individual winners by Cambridge Stud sire Keeper.