Classy mare Supera cruises to victory at Tauranga Photo credit: Trish Dunell
Progressive mare Supera overcame a wide run in transit throughout to dominate her rivals in the closing stages of the Gr.2 Gartshore Tauranga Stakes (1600m) on Saturday.
The Ken and Bev Kelso-trained five-year-old had looked a Group One winner in waiting last season as her mentors adopted a patient approach with her as she rose through the grades.
Rounding off her four-year-old season with a win at Group Two level in the Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa following a narrow defeat in the Gr.1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha, Supera opened her latest campaign with a narrow defeat over 1400m at Ellerslie three weeks ago.
Expected to improve significantly with the run, any predictions of a comfortable victory looked well off the mark in the early stages at Tauranga with rider Michael Coleman forced to sit three-wide at the rear of the eight horse field on the Savabeel mare as The Mitigator and Consensus set up a solid speed out in front.
Coleman edged his way forward approaching the home bend before asking Supera for a serious effort at the 300m. Supera hit full speed in three to four big bounds as she raced past The Mitigator to score with contemptuous ease by two-lengths with Tiptronic narrowly shading Consensus for third.
“She sat three-wide the trip with no cover and was dominant in the end,” co-trainer Ken Kelso said.
“She has got a hell of a lot of ability.
“She’s got a lot of improvement in her as her temperament is getting better so it should be onwards and upwards from here.”
Kelso is confident his charge has what it takes to snare Group One glory as he plots a path for her over the coming weeks.
“All going well we will go to the Captain Cook (Gr.1, 1600m) at Trentham and then get up over ground,” he said.
“We’ll then go to Ellerslie for the Zabeel Classic (Gr.1, 2000m).
“She’s definitely stronger as when you look at her, she has really developed into a lovely mare.
“She’s not easy but you put up with them when they’re like this.”
Bred and raced by Sir Peter Vela, Supera has now won seven of her 15 starts. She is out of Van Nistelrooy mare Sopra Tutto and is a granddaughter of Vela’s multiple Group One winner Ethereal who won on four occasions at Group One level including Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) double in 2001.