Wingatui trainer Claire Anderton got the Christmas present she wanted this year, it was just a day late.
Stable star The Precious One had been knocking on the door at stakes level for some time and the five-year-old mare was able to deliver for her connections on Boxing Day when recording her breakthrough black-type win in the Listed Southern Wide Realty Hazlett Stakes (1200m) at Wingatui.
She beat home fellow local Raise You Ten by 1-1/2 lengths, with a further 1-1/2 lengths back to Canterbury raider Sensei in third.
The daughter of dual Group One winner and New Zealand Champion Three-Year-Old of her year, The Jewel, had previously been runner-up twice at stakes-level and Anderton was delighted to get the result on her home track.
“We have all known that she has got the ability, but it was just giving her the chance to be able to show it,” Anderton said.
“She has gone some amazing races. That’s the first open race that she has won, but she has gone some super races.
“She was second in this race last year and she was second in a Group Three last year at Christchurch.
“Even when she went up north she went a super race at Ellerslie, but we have had a bit of bad luck since then.”
Anderton was pleased with The Precious One heading into the race, despite trailing the field home in a 1220m contest at Cromwell earlier this month, and said she was aided by the drizzle of rain on Thursday.
“I have been very happy with her. We are still scratching our heads over Cromwell, but she had a nice encouraging run at Invercargill (third) and probably got a lot of confidence out of that run,” she said.
“When the rain came, that was always going to aid her chances a wee bit.”
A trip north is now on the cards for The Precious One after Thursday’s result, however, Anderton said she would let the dust settle before mapping out future plans with her connections.
“We haven’t talked about any plans yet. We are just taking her one race at a time with the problems that she has had. We might have to look going across the Cook Strait now.
“We will just get her home and make sure everything is alright and then talk with the owners and make a plan.”
The Precious One’s victory continues a stellar season for sire Darci Brahma who has experienced a series of black-type wins through his standout crop of three-year-olds, that includes Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner Catalyst.
He will be represented by 12 Book 1 yearlings and eight Book 2 yearlings at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sales at Karaka next month.