Cole tackles Castletown with surprise package

By Richard Edmunds

3 Jun 2021

Cole tackles Castletown with surprise package

Matamata trainer Cody Cole admits to being taken by surprise by his twoyear- old filly Iffshecan, whose impressive debut victory last month has earned her a black-type opportunity in Saturday’s Listed Castletown Stakes at Wanganui.

The daughter of Iffraaj races in the colours of breeder and part-owner Judge Clapham, who also bred and raced the filly’s close relative Cellarmaster – a highclass two-year-old who won the Eclipse Stakes and placed in the Gr. 1 Diamond Stakes and Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes.

After winning one of her two trials at Taupo in April, Iffshecan lined up for her first start on her home track on May 14. Sent straight to the lead by Sam Collett, Iffshecan was taken on in front but scooted clear at the top of the straight and won by three-quarters of a length.

“I didn’t actually expect that, to be honest,” Cole told RaceForm on Tuesday. “She’s never been a horse who works the house down or shows all that much at home. But she really stepped up on raceday, which was great to see.

“She’s carried on much the same way since then. You can’t really read too much into how she’s working, but she looks well and I’ve been happy with her.

“She seems to handle a bit of moisture in the ground (winning on a heavy 10 on debut), which is always a big advantage at this time of the year.

“With a bit more time and experience under her belt, I’d like to think she’s the type of filly who could develop into a nice chance for some of those good three-yearold races next season.

“Looking at her, you really wouldn’t think she was going to be a two-year-old. I was always under the impression that she’d need another six months, so getting her to this stage already has been a real bonus. She’ll obviously need to take the next step and improve again, but the signs have all been very encouraging.”

With Collett since embarking on a winter stint in Queensland, the mount on Iffshecan will be taken on Saturday by an in-form apprentice jockey who has yet to win at black-type level.
“We’ve actually booked Tegan Newman to ride her on Saturday,” Cole said. “We were struggling to find a senior rider. Tegan knows the horse really well and has ridden her in quite a bit of her work. Tegan’s riding very well at the moment too, so she deserves the opportunity.”

Cole’s other runner at Wanganui on Saturday is Sweet Molly Malone, who will line up in the Property Brokers 1600.

The four-year-old daughter of Rip Van Winkle has won two of her 10 starts, including a gutsy last-start performance at Matamata after racing wide without cover throughout.

“She’ll carry only a couple more kilos in weight than she did when she won last start in the same grade, so I’m pretty happy with how she’s placed this weekend,” Cole said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she delivered a repeat result.

“She’s a little bit of an enigma – it seems like she almost needs to have a really torrid run for her to show her best. When she’s out in the open and doing a lot of work, you’d expect her to give up, but that’s when she seems to just keep on going.

“So it’s hard to know what to expect from her on raceday sometimes, but she’s always pretty consistent in her work. Nothing really changes with her, and she’s heading into the race in the same sort of condition as last time.”