By Candice Gollan
Pukekohe-trained Melt, pictured, once again put her talent and professionalism on display when she was victorious in the Group Three Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka on Saturday.
The Nigel Tiley-trained daughter of Iffraaj and jockey Sam Spratt were stuck mid-field on the rail until the home turn, when a gap opened and the duo broke free from the mob to take the lead and were able to hold off the advances of second and third place getters, Madison County and Reevederci.
The three-year-old was the warm favourite ahead of Te Akau’s Group One winning Sword of Osman.
“She didn’t get the best of runs early on,” Tiley said. “But she’s got that really good turn of foot.”
Tiley had tossed up whether to race Melt at Ruakaka or wait until next weekend at Hastings.
“In the end it’s a six-hour round trip up here or a twelve-hour round trip down there,” Tiley said.
Tiley opted for the closer to home option because there is a trip to Christchurch in the foreseeable future.
“Christchurch is where we want to be, so we will take her home and decide where we are going to go from here,” Tiley said. “But Christchurch is going to be the grand finale.”
Melt is nominated for both the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai 46th New Zealand 2000 Guineas and the Gavelhouse.com 46th New Zealand 1000 Guineas.
Tiley is still considering the path which will take them to Christchurch.
“We could go to the Hawkes Bay Guineas,” Tiley said. “We’ll play it by ear.”
Melt has won four races from six starts, earning $176,625.
She was bred by C J Cochrane and W A Fowler and is raced by Andrew Fowler.