An aborted attempt at a Brisbane Group One feature will play in the favour of local race fans when classy mare Underthemoonlight heads to Tauranga in a fortnight to defend her Listed Woburn Farm Classic (1400m) crown.
The underrated El Hermano mare overcame topweight of 60kgs and a handy field to score a courageous win over 1400m at Te Rapa on Saturday. The victory has part-owner Hamish McQuade looking forward to the Tauranga challenge although thinking about what might have been with slightly better timing.
“That was a top win on Saturday as we thought she still might have been a run short and she had to give the rest of them weight as well,” he said.
“I guess her affinity with Te Rapa played in her favour and the fact is that she is a pretty classy mare. She can be underrated at times and people do want to pigeon hole her as a wet-tracker, but she really goes best when there is just some cut in the ground.
“Saturday’s track was perfect for her and she showed her class although she got tired in the last 100m.
“We had wanted her to run a week earlier as we did have plans to take her to Brisbane for the Tatts Tiara, but the timing just didn’t work out, so she will stay here now and focus on a local campaign,”
Central in McQuade and wife Karyn’s plans for the mare include a return to Hastings for another shot at Group One glory after she finished an unlucky third in the 2017 edition of the Tarzino Trophy (1400m) last September.
“She will go to Tauranga in a fortnight for the fillies and mares race that she won last year and then have a wee break,” said McQuade.
“We will bring her back for the Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa, a race she also won last year, and then on to the Tarzino Trophy at Hastings.
“It was a pretty rough affair in the Tarzino last year and we copped some flak over the interference in the race.
“Personally, I thought she and Cameron (rider Cameron Lammas) were a victim of circumstances and she was unlucky not to win it, so it would be nice to go back and get a win in the race this time around.
“While she is a rising seven-year-old she is lightly raced and didn’t start until she was four. We think she still has plenty left in her so a Group One win would be a great result and one she might just deserve.” – NZ Racing Desk
Underthemoonlight lumps topweight to victory at Te Rapa