Irish Mist bounces back at Ellerslie
A six-week break has done the world of good for progressive three-year-old Irish Mist who returned to the top rung of the podium with a victory at Ellerslie on Saturday.
Pukekohe Park trainer Michael Rogers, who prepares the Guillotine gelding with father Matt and younger brother Matthew, has always held a high opinion on his charge but immaturity and greenness had plagued him throughout his earlier campaigns. An untimely stone bruise suffered after a run at Ellerslie in April played in his favour with Rogers pleased to see the development in the horse that took place while he was on the easy list.
"We’ve known he could gallop from early on but he has been very weak and quite wayward up until now,” he explained.
"He has run a number of nice races but that weakness just told on several occasions. When we found he was suffering from a stone bruise we tipped him out which worked out well as he thrived during the time off.
"He still has plenty of maturing to do, both physically and mentally, but he is on the right path now and I hope he can live up to the promise he has shown us to date.”
Despite registering his maiden victory on a heavy surface at Rotorua last year Rogers was in some doubt about Irish Mist’s ability to handle the testing surface that prevailed on the weekend.
"We don’t think he is an out and out wet tracker as he ran second on a good track at Pukekohe one day,” he noted.
"When I saw how heavy it was on Saturday I thought he might struggle but to his credit he displayed plenty of grit in the final stages and beat a couple of nice types in the process.
"I think he will be best on a track with some cut in it so that’s what we will try and place him during the winter. A track like Te Rapa should suit so I think we will take a look there this weekend and then maybe at some of those Ruakaka meetings after that.”
– NZ Racing Desk