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Hallmark Stud Graduate Wyndspelle Highlights Class
19 Feb 2016A slow start wasn’t enough to prevent Wyndspellle from winning the Foster Maintain 1200 at Te Rapa today at the expense of the odds-on favourite O’Rachael.

Minutes after the two-year-olds had stopped the clock at 1:11.41 for the 1200 metres, stewards downgraded the track from its Good3 race morning rating to Dead4. After the Te Rapa had been very firm last Saturday when predicted rain didn’t arrive, a heavy irrigation programme during the week had a reverse effect for today’s Group One programme.

While connections of O’Rachael were blaming the track conditions on their filly’s ability to do no better than third, those close to the winner weren’t complaining. Iffraaj colt Wyndspelle came with a huge late finish to get up in the last bound, collaring first starter Shenandoah who had looked the winner after taking over from O’Rachael 50 metres out.

“He had us worried when he blew the start but you had to like the way he rounded it off,” said co-trainer Jim Gibbs. “He’s a decent sort of colt and provided he comes through this okay we’ll look at the Matamata Slipper with him next.”

Winning rider Danielle Johnson put the slow start down to Wyndspelle being slightly fractious in his starting gate.

"It wasn't that bad, just enough for him to miss the kick, but he certainly rounded them up well," Johnson said.

The most excited member of the winning group was Jen Campin, who paid $75,000 for the good looking bay at last year’s Karaka Select Sale from the draft of Hallmark Stud and brought Australian friends John Frew, his sister Shirley Hanna and Neil Randles into the partnership.

“It’s a great way to get our season underway and hopefully we can look forward to more,” Campin said of the grandson of stakes-winning juvenile Alberton Star.

Darci Brahma filly Sheandoah also hinted at a bright future with her short-head second, while O’Rachael is still expected to progress to the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes in a fortnight’s time.

The full brother to Wyndspelle was sold earlier this year at the Karaka Sale to Rj & SA Miller for $38,000.