Speedy mare Akoya (Bullbars x Penny Bright)
confirmed her liking for the roomy Trentham track when she made it two wins
from as many starts at the venue on Saturday.
Prepared by Stephen Marsh at Cambridge, the
four-year-old Bullbars mare, who was born and raised at Trelawney for
breeder-owner Joan Egan, sat three-wide on the pace throughout before dashing
away to claim victory in the El Cheapo Cars Premier (1200m).
Twelve months earlier she had displayed
blistering speed to score easily over 1000m at the corresponding meeting
however Saturday’s contest tested her mettle far more as she overcame a tough
trip in transit to score a dogged win.
“She had a pretty tricky barrier draw today
and with a little bit of pace on early I didn’t want to overdo it, but I ended
up being caught out three-wide,” said rider Danielle Johnson after the race.
“There was only one corner we had to go
around though so that was a blessing.
“She missed the kick at her last start
where she got back and hit the line well. Today she made the jump and has gone
Trainer Stephen Marsh, who celebrated a
significant milestone just 24 hours earlier when Firefly provided him with his
500th training victory when successful at Matamata, admitted he had been
nervous about the mare’s barrier draw before the race.
“We were very worried about the wide draw
as when they draw out like that it is hard on a front-running horse,” he said.
“She’s jumped well and she’s showed how
tough she is. She has a really good form-line with four wins now from 9 starts
and has been unlucky a few times as well.
“She’s just a tough little mare who tries
Marsh will now consider the options
available for his charge who he believes is best suited to the shorter sprint
“She is ideally a 1000m-1200m mare, so
we’ll just pick and choose where we go from here,” he said.
“That’s her second win down the chute so we
might try and find something down here for her. We’ll just play around and
maybe try and find some black-type for her.” – NZ Racing Desk