Most Favorite (NZ) (O'Reilly) returned to winning ways in brilliant fashion in the 60,000 Class 4 Premier race over 1000m on Friday.
The second win – long after his debut win in January - certainly brought the smiles back for trainer Shane Baertschiger who had been a little puzzled by the lacklustre runs that he had come up with in the intervening outings.
The only silver lining was his fifth place to smart sprinter Zac Kasa two starts back, a run Baertschiger felt was worthy of some praise for the O’Reilly three-year-old given the impeded run he encountered at a crucial point.
But it was Most Favorite who went grabbing the thicker end of the prizemoney as he posted a solid 1 ¾-length victory. The winning time was 59.74 seconds for the 1000m on the Polytrack.
“It’s a horse I thought a lot of, and he proved me right on debut, but he’s been disappointing after that,” said Baertschiger.
“We probably rode him too far off the pace after that. He was held up two runs back when Zac Kasa won – and that was a good run.
“Tonight, he was in a small field and he got a great ride from JP. That’s the best way to ride him – quiet and just off the speed.”
The Australian jockey, who was among the 10 expat jockeys renewed on Thursday, said that the stars were aligned for Most Favorite on Friday night.
“Shane thought he was above average and he did win at his first start, but he was a bit disappointing afterwards,” said Powell.
“He had the right conditions tonight, was in a handier position, and he was strong to the line.”
Most Favorite has now recorded two wins from six outings for prizemoney in excess of $80,000 for the Auric Stable. -STC