Gritty Matamata mare Hello M’Lady once again showed her love for the Rotorua surface when she pulled out all stops to gain victory in her first run for four months on Saturday.
The four-year-old has now won three of her five starts at Arawa Park with one of her unplaced runs being a close fourth at Listed level back in October last year.
Successful over the same 1215m distance at the corresponding meeting in 2017, Hello M’Lady was sent out favourite in the six-horse rating 75 contest despite not having been seen since finishing down the track in the Gr.3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham in March. Handled patiently by regular pilot Cameron Lammas, the Shocking mare travelled kindly throughout before issuing her challenge near the outside fence in the run home.
Under the urgings of Lammas, Hello M’Lady gained the upper-hand over pacemaker Stradivarius in the final few bounds to record her fourth career victory.
“She’s probably lacking fitness but her class showed in the end,” said trainer Vicki Prendergast when questioned after the race.
“She loves this course and ground at this time of the year. She just loves winter.
“I was really worried that Cameron may have left his run too late, but he knows what he is doing.”
Prendergast has no firm plans for the mare who was twice placed at stakes level during her three-year-old campaign.
“We would like to get a black-type win with her,” she said.
“We will see wait to see how she pulls up and make a plan from there.
“We’d like to get back up to the mile with her, but we need to get these fitness runs into her first.”
The result also signed off a successful season for Lammas who clocked up win number fifty with the victory. – NZ Racing Desk