The ladies reigned supreme at Addington on Friday night, the fairer sex winning both feature races on the card.
Dream About Me scored her second consecutive group race victory in a nail-biting finish to the Gr.2 $50,000 Canterbury Classic.
An hour earlier, Harriet Of Mot showed she might finally have furnished in to a sensible mare with a win in the Gr.3 $30,000 Canterbury Park Trotting Cup.
Dream About Me, under the urgings of driver Tim Williams, stuck her head out determinedly to see off a big finish from Forgotten Highway.
Back-to-back victories over most of the South Island’s New Zealand Cup contenders has put her right at the front of the cup conversation.
The scary thing for the connections of the horses she has beaten is she is not even fully fit yet.
“She was out for so long she has taken a bit of work and then she had that foot problem leading in to the Hannon and that put us back again,’’ co-trainer Mark Purdon said post-race.
“She has come on from that run and is getting better all the time now.”
In going to the top-end of the cup market, Dream About Me has turned her year completely upside down.
Before her cup preparation began her owners, Paul and Mary Kenny, consulted Purdon about retiring the pacer after constant hoof issues ruled her out of much of last season.
Dream About Me has not only justified Purdon’s decision to keep her racing, she is now in a position to avenge the horror start she had in last year’s New Zealand Cup when she was wiped out and took no part.
Race favourite Ultimate Machete stepped brilliantly after being slow away in his recent trials but battled in to fourth.
Though he could not hold the back of the Dream About Me in the straight, Purdon was not disappointed by the early New Zealand Cup favourite’s run.
“I was pretty happy with him, being a stallion, and I think it is going to take him a couple of runs to get back to his best.”
Harriet Of Mot fired a big warning shot towards her Dominion rivals with her victory also in the hands of Tim Williams
The Craig and Aimee Edmonds-trained mare held off a strong late challenge from Marcoola to win the night’s feature trot.
Craig Edmonds puts Harriet Of Mot’s brilliant return to racing down to his mare simply being in a happy place.
“She has come back really well and she seems very happy,” he said.
“She has not got all of the head gear she was wearing on and she just feels like she is in the zone.”
“Last year she had a lot of issues going in to the Dominion, but this year everything seems pretty good.”
Punters are likely to see plenty more of Harriet Of Mot as she progresses toward next month’s Gr.1 Dominion.
The Monarchy mare is likely to head to the Ashburton Trotters’ Flying Mile later this month and possibly to the Kaikoura meeting, as well.
“She just needs racing, so she will probably go to Ashburton and then see what happens,” Edmonds said.
Marcoola again signaled he was in brilliant order in his return from a long break with a mammoth effort to run second.
The comeback trotter botched Friday night’s standing start, before catching the field and launching a huge finish to get within a short-neck of Harriet Of Mot on the line.
Earlier in the night, the Robert Dunn-trained pair of Heisenberg and Stars Tonight qualified for the Sires Stakes Final after running the quinella in the first Canterbury heat.