Irish Mist off the mark at Rotorua
Pukekohe Park-trained gelding scores first win
Pukekohe Park galloper Irish Mist made the step up from promising maiden to race winner with aplomb at Rotorua on Saturday as he accounted for a small but talented field in the day’s opening event.
The Guillotine gelding had put in an eye catching performance behind the promising Veearma at Ellerslie last month and franked that form as he held out all challenges in the run home on Saturday to score narrowly but well in the Townley Trenching & Electrical sponsored three-year-old 1200 metre contest.
Co-trainer Michael Rogers had expected a good performance after his charge had taken plenty of improvement out of his Ellerslie run.
"He has really come on since Ellerslie where he was pretty fresh so we had expected him to go well,” he admitted.
"I thought when the filly (Volpe Veloce) was scratched he had a fair show of beating them. He just needed to handle the ground.
"I think he will learn plenty from this effort and go on from here.”
Rider Sam Spratt was of a similar opinion when questioned after the race.
"It was a really good effort as he had been knocking on the door,” she said.
"He’s shown heaps of promise at home so it was just a matter of getting through the track.
"There’s plenty of moisture in the surface. We travelled well but when I asked him he started to make heavy weather of it but so were the others.”
– NZ Racing Desk