(By John Jenkins)

The Group 2 $100,000 Travis Stakes at Te Rapa on April 27 is now likely to be the target for Hastings-trained mare Atlanta Peach after she demolished a Rating 72 field over 1800m at Riccarton today.

Relishing the heavy track conditions, the Bullbars mare cruised up outside the leaders on the home turn before racing away in the final stages to win by 5 lengths in the hands of senior jockey Terry Moseley.

Atlanta Peach is one of two horses the Hastings partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen sent south for the two-day autumn meeting at Riccarton, the other being Mohaka who recorded a creditable seventh in today’s Listed Airfreight Stakes (1600m).

Mohaka’s main assignment will be next Saturday’s Listed $50,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes (2000m) while there is also another Rating 72 race over 2000m for Atlanta Peach that day, which she will probably now bypass.

Guy Lowry said it might be better to keep Atlanta Peach fresh for the 2000m Travis Stakes and was thinking she may now return to Hastings and just tick over in the next couple of weeks before that race.

“She might get weighted out of the Rating 72 race next Saturday and I don’t want to flatten her as we’d like to take her up for the Travis Stakes,” Lowry said.

“Mind you I wouldn’t start her in the Travis unless it was a slow or heavy track because she probably wouldn’t be competitive on firm ground.”

Atlanta Peach was recording her third win and has never finished further back than fifth in seven starts for her Cambridge owner Tony Rider, a loyal client of the Lowry/Cullen stable. Her three victories have all been on heavy or slow tracks.