The Kelvin Tyler-trained Flying Sardine impressed with her fresh-up win in the Christchurch Casino Open Handicap (1600m) at Riccarton on Saturday, in what was an oddly run race.
Early speed split the six horse field into two pods of three for the majority of the race. Flying Sardine sat on the back of the first group and got the better of her rivals in the straight, winning by a length over Who Dares Wins.
“It was quite unusual,” Tyler said. “Quite often in these small fields they are pretty hard races to predict what is going to happen.
“There was a bit of speed on upfront and those back ones just sat up and watched her. It was a good effort and she is a really tough horse and a real professional, probably the most professional horse I have ever had.
“She knows exactly what she is there for and what she is meant to do.”
Owner-trainer Tyler is now eyeing more black-type with the nine-win mare later this spring after she placed in the Gr.3 South Island Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) earlier this year.
“She’s pulled up really well since Saturday,” he said. “I’m not too sure what to do with her. I’m half-pie tempted to take her up north for some nice races up there, some fillies and mares races at Hawera and a couple of weeks later there is a nice race at Trentham.
“But it is a long way to go, so I’ll probably keep her a little bit fresh and wait around for the New Zealand Cup meeting probably. She’s nominated for the Coupland’s Mile (Gr.2, 1600m), but there is also another really nice race on the same day, the Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.3, 1400m).”