Last season’s Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) winner Sentimental Miss returned to her best with a quality staying performance to take out the Listed Steelform Roofing Group Wanganui Cup (2040m).
The Lisa Latta-trained four-year-old has disappointed on several occasions in her current campaign after an eye-catching effort for seventh behind Endless Drama in the Gr.2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa back in August.
The Reliable Man mare looked to be coming back to somewhere near her best when finishing fourth over 1550m at her last start and franked that effort with a determined performance on Saturday.
Given a perfect run on the fence in midfield by rider Kozzi Asano, Sentimental Miss moved into contention turning for home before driving to the front at the 200m to defeat Hunta Pence and fast finishing stablemate Platinum Invador.
Sporting the familiar colours of well-known thoroughbred syndicators Go Racing, Sentimental Miss had been scheduled to head to the spelling paddock for a brief break before a planned autumn campaign but that could now be put on hold.
“To be fair she has been a little disappointing this time in so we thought it might be best to put her away for a rest after today’s run,” syndicate representative Matt Allnutt said.
“The way she really hit the line so well might mean we have to take another look at that as she really let down and it was a very good win.
“The signs were there after her last run that she might be on the way back and that was certainly the case.
“She does go best at this time of the year but to see the way she picked them up so comfortably in the run home was just fantastic and a big thrill.”
Allnutt was quick to praise the ride of Asano who is apprenticed to South Island trainer Andrew Carston, who trains a number of horses for the Go Racing operation.
“We know Kozzi well and it was a very easy decision to put him on the mare as he had handled her perfectly last time,” he said.
“His riding has just improved out of sight and I think it is very exciting for New Zealand racing to have a young apprentice right there near the top of the premiership at such an early stage of his career.”
The victory created a new milestone for Asano who registered his first victory at stakes level and his 31st win for the season which sees him currently sitting in second position on the National Jockey’s Premiership ladder.
Bred by The Oaks Stud, Sentimental Miss has now won three of her 17 starts after she was purchased by Go Racing for $40,000 from the 2017 Select Yearling Sale.
A half-brother by Pins will be offered through the Mapperley Stud draft during Book 1 at the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale at Karaka in January.
-NZ Racing Desk