The powerful father and son training partnership of Michael and Matthew Pitman added another winning double to their impressive home track record at Riccarton on Saturday, albeit they had to share the spoils in one of those victories.
The ultra-impressive Elfee kicked off the day in good style with a win over 1600m in rating 85 company before underrated mare Saronic Miss grabbed a share of the major prize-money when she dead-heated with recent southern convert Secret Stash in a rating 65 1200m event just one race later.
Elfee, who also started her career in the north before heading to the Pitman operation in early 2017, made it career win number seven when she out finished pacemaker Laaffaire and race favourite Euphoria to take out the third race on the programme.
The win was well deserved after the six-year-old had been narrowly beaten two starts ago in the Gr.3 South Island Breeders’ Stakes (1600m).
“She was really unlucky that day and not just in that run either,” said Matthew Pitman.
“The form’s been all around her and she got her turn today.”
Pitman was pleased with the ride of northern apprentice Sam Weatherley who positioned the Iffraaj mare in a striking position throughout before driving her to the front in the closing stages of the contest.
“It was a very patient and very good ride from Sam,” he said.
“That’s why we got him down here.
“She was very unlucky not to get a Group Three win, but she got her consolation today.”
Weatherley was also taken with the mare’s effort.
“She’s a tough mare,” he said.
“You like these types of horses that always put in one hundred percent. I didn’t want to be unlucky on her so I popped off the fence just before the corner.
“I waited as long as I could as I knew I had the second horse covered and she put them to bed quite nicely.” – NZ Racing Desk
Elfee holds out Laaffaire and Euphoria at Riccarton