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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cross

Masterlou gives maidens a lesson at Ashburton

At only his fourth start – and third finish - Masterlou ticked off his maiden at Ashburton Saturday with a determined sprint along the pylons. The win followed a good second at Addington last start, and a couple of starts as a two year old best forgotten. 

Driven expertly by John Dunn, Masterlou had to be patient with his students before the gap opened from the three-back position. Once clear he stretched out like the good horse we believe he is, to hit the line strongest and prevail by a head.

Masterlou’s large group of owners hail from all around the country, many first-time owners among them. For one, retired Christchurch real estate agent Grant Lange, his first win was a big thrill.

“Standing where we were I thought he came second or third. When he was called first across the line we were all surprised and delighted”, said Grant. “Being new to the game when I bought into him, I just went with the way he looked to me at the time, and it worked!”

Grant Lange and Masterlou after their win

Trent purchased Masterlou (Sweet Lou – Can’t Teach That) at the 2022 Yearling Sales for $23,000. “With his conformation and breeding I thought that was a great price then,” says Trent. Now I’m really satisfied. He is a joy to train and has an exciting future.”

Trent believes that Masterlou’s best is six months away, so hopes are high that he’ll be competitive in the good races in the spring.

After a quiet 2023 when just one horse came into the stable via the Sales, this year Ripple Creek has seven newcomers. Four have owners who have engaged Trent to train for them, while three were Ripple Creek purchases now on the market for ownership.

“At Auckland we got in early by securing Lot 5, a stunning Bettor’s Delight colt from Elegant Art, and so a full brother to Another Masterpiece,” says Trent. “He looks like he’ll go early too!”

At Christchurch Lot 190 (filly Lazarus – Jennalee) and lot 246 colt (Elite Stride – One Night Stand) joined the stable as well. Shares in all three are available now.

“Buying in a range of price brackets and mixing direct share ownership with syndication of smaller shares, we cater for a range of budgets”, says Trent. “It’s proved a successful formula, with over a hundred new owners joining us in the last three years, the majority racing a horse for the first time.”

“A highlight of being in this business is the people you meet and the pleasure we get in sharing success.” says Trent. “Grant has shares in four horses with us now, and we’re proud to have people like him on the team”.

Grant keeps himself busy as a volunteer driver for the Cancer Society, and the Peace Train at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. When he finds time he’s at the trials and races, at school-holiday time bringing his grandchildren along.

“It’s a friendly and positive scene all round, our own small community that we celebrate at Ripple Creek,” concludes Trent.


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