American Tart does good job in Ashburton mile
Four year old mare American Tart has shown her massive ability on many occasions throughout her short career, but yesterday at Ashburton, she showed another string to her bow, coming from last at the 400m to beat a good field of mares over the mile.
At her last start at Addington, American Tart went out a heavily supported favourite, but fell victim like many before her, from the six barrier over the mile. Fast forward a week and it was a similar scenario with Gavin Smith deputising for usual driver John Dunn. Again the mare drew the outside barrier, but the big difference was the venue, with the Ashburton track giving all runners a chance on the big 1400m track.
Unlike last week, Smith elected to pull back to last and wait for one run at them. With pacemaker Crackabella running quick sectionals up front, it was a truly run mile, giving all runners their chance. However, still last at the 400m, American Tart had it all in front of her and it looked like stablemate Miss Daisy was going to be an upset winner after surging to the lead at the 200m. In the last 100m though, American Tart really dug in like the good mare that she is, mastering Miss Daisy just short of the post before winning by a head in a smart 1.54.9 for the mile, running her last half mile in a tick over 55 seconds, a great effort considering how wide she was forced to come with her run.
The win was American Tart's sixth from just 11 starts and she continues to make good steps forward as a racehorse. She will now have a brief let-up, before coming back in with the big mares races her New Years targets. These races will also be a target for Miss Daisy who in running second produced a big run herself. She has done a good job since returning south.
Earlier in the day and maiden Hayden's Meddle looked to have bagged his maiden win before going down in the closing stages to a very game winner in Baileys Knight. Sent forward early, Hayden's Meddle assumed the lead before the 1600m, before handing up and enjoying the trail for the rest of the race. After coming through strongly up the passing lane, Hayden's Meddle took a narrow lead before being nailed short of the line by Baileys Knight which had looked beaten at the 200m. Hayden's Meddle will continue to be one to follow over the holiday period.
Sacred Angel was a good third in fillies and mares company over the mile. She now has a placed time of 1.56.4 over the mile. Cmeerock put in a really nice effort up in company over the 2400m won in a quick 2.54.7 by Christopher Banner. She loomed large on the turn and was beaten under a length in running a very game 4th.
In the day's feature the Ashburton Cup, Alta Orlando showed great manners to lead early before engaging in a short speed duel with Mossdale Conner. After being crossed momentarily he again pulled out and headed to the lead, dictating terms in front thereafter. Always looking to be travelling well in front, Alta Orlando faced pressure from the 400m and while he dug in all the way to the line, the early burn paid its toll as he finished up in 5th spot, beaten just two lengths in a very meritorious placed time of 3.58.7 for the 3200m trip. The race was won impressively by the Nigel McGrath trained Classie Brigade, while the McGrath stablemates Maverick and Ears Burning filled the minor placings. Alta Orlando will now be set for next month's Nelson meeting.
Posted: Tue 27 Dec 2016