Start Wondering has completed his homecoming with victory in New Zealand’s premier sprint, the Railway Stakes at Ellerslie.
After three wins in Sydney last summer in the care of Chris Waller, Start Wondering was sent back to New Zealand after a bleeding attack and is now trained by father and daughter Evan and JJ Raynor for Paul Belsham who prepared him early in his career.
“Paul’s my cousin and we’re very close,” JJ Rayner told NZracing.co.
“The owners gave him to Paul before sending him to Sydney with Chris Waller. He bled over there so he came back but Paul had retired so he came to us.
“Paul did all the early work and he will be cheering at home.”
Start Wondering was ridden by Johnathan Parkes who had earier won the Group Three City of Auckland Cup at Sunday’s meeting on St. Jean, a French horse formerly trained in Victoria by Aaron Purcell.
Parkes took Start Wondering to the lead 300 metres out and the gelding held off Perfect Fit by 1-1/4 lengths.
“I was quite confident he could win today and he’s come out and done it well,” Parkes said.
“The pace really made it for me as he likes the speed on and when it was time to move he really came over the top of them.
“In the end he was just too good.”