Longshot Signify scored an upset win in the Group 1 NZ$250,000 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham in New Zealand last Saturday.
Winning jockey Racha Cuneen settled Signify in the second half of the field from barrier ten before the $46 chance stormed home down the middle of track to record a nose win over Start Wondering with favourite Perfect Fit ($4) a close up third.
Even though the margin was a nose, Cuneen was confident that Signify’s momentum had been enough to grab the front right on the line.
“I was reasonably confident,” Cuneen said.
“I was travelling really well and I waited for as long as I could and then asked the horse to go and he got there.”
“It’s amazing and I’m very grateful to have the opportunity, I’m glad I got the job done.”
Runner up Start Wondering with Johnathon Parkes in the saddle loomed up at the 300m and looked to have the Telegraph won, but the flashing finish of Signify denied the six year old back to back Group 1 wins after claiming the NZ$200,000 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 1 at his previous start.
Signify was coming off a second at his previous start in the Listed NZ$50,000 Mosgiel Stakes (1200m) at Wingatui on December 26 and trainer Alex Cowan, who prepares the gelding for his wife Tracey, only ran him in the Telegraph on the recommendation of Cuneen who rode him that day.
“Racha rode him when he ran second at Wingatui on Boxing Day and I told him that I had nominated the horse for the Telegraph,” Cowan said.
“He said you’ve got to run him and after Racha ran second in the Telegraph on Miss Seton Sands last year he had a good feel and knowledge around the race.”
Australia’s representative in the Telegraph, the Robert Smerdon trained Odyssey Moon, was never in the hunt from a wide barrier and finished in twelfth position, four and a quarter lengths from the winner.
Signify has now won eight of his thirty race starts with Saturday’s Telegraph first prizemoney cheque pushing his earnings over the NZ$300,000 mark.