Solidify returns to winning form at Otaki

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25 Feb 2024

By Kevin Robertson, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

A patient ride by Jonathan Riddell was the key to a much improved performance from talented galloper Solidify as he returned to winning form in the opening event at Otaki on Saturday, the Cavallo Farm Chris Rutten Bloodstock 3YO (1600m).

Riddell, who was having his first ride on the son of Redwood with regular pilot Ryan Elliot unavailable on the day, sat back in the five-horse field before looming into contention approaching the home corner.

The Team Rogerson-prepared galloper moved clear of his rivals halfway down the straight and went to the line under a hold to defeat the late finishing Bozo by a length with pacemaker Danjuro fighting on well for third.

Riddell was happy with the way the race unfolded around him and the way his mount finished off proceedings.

“The speed seemed genuine enough and I was able to get off the fence and into the perfect spot,” Riddell said.

“He did it all himself and it was a fairly easy win.

“His form is pretty good and I was lucky enough to pick up ride which I appreciate.”

Solidify holds a nomination for the Gr.1 TAB New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie next Saturday and Riddell felt the horse had the ability to be a contender in the race at the distance.

“He has the right trainer to do it and anything is possible with Rogie,” he said.

“I’ve only had one go on him but it seems to me why not have a go (at the Derby).”

Rogerson confirmed that as long as the horse recovered well he would take his place in the Derby field.

Rogerson purchased Solidify for $140,000 from the Westbury Stud draft during the 2022 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale, with stud proprietor Gerry Harvey remaining in the ownership group.

Out of the Redoute’s Choice mare The Warrior Woman, who is a sister to outstanding racemare Royal Descent, Solidify has now won four of his 12 starts and over $168,000 in prizemoney.

He is currently rated as a $21 chance in the Fixed Odds market for the New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie next Saturday, with Orchestral the current $1.40 favourite. - LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Photo by Race Images