If ever a horse deserved to break through at stakes level it is talented mare Deals In Heels.
Placed on three occasions in black-type events, the Emma Evans bred and owned five-year-old finally cracked it in top company when she took out the Listed Team Wealleans Matamata Cup (1600m) on Saturday.
Trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Deals In Heels was backing up from an unlucky run at Hastings last week where she was badly hampered in the home straight in a race won by rising talent, Te Akau Shark.
Luck was back on her side this time around as she enjoyed a trouble-free run throughout in the hands of regular rider Matthew Cameron. Cameron bounced the mare out well from an inside barrier to settle on the fence in a forward position. Angled off the rail approaching the home corner, Deals In Heels sprinted quickly to hit the front before fending off the challenge of the well-favoured Demonetization with local runner Our King Sway finishing in third.
The victory vindicated the decision made by her trainers to run the mare at Matamata as opposed to trekking to the Central Districts for an alternative black-type contest.
“When we got her back from Hastings she was bucking and squealing when we took her out to the training track on Monday morning,” Andrew Forsman said.
“She came through her race well so we had to make a decision about going to Matamata or tackling the Breeders’ Stakes at Hawera.
“In the end we chose the Matamata option as it meant she didn’t have to make the long trek to the Central Districts two weeks in a row.”
Fortune also favoured the Iffraaj mare when she drew well in barrier two before substantial rain on Friday produced a Slow8 track surface.
“She had a good gate and that rain was just perfect for her,” Forsman said.
“Matt rode her well and it really was a top effort when you consider she was carrying 58.5kgs and giving weight to some very promising gallopers.
“She has been knocking on the door of a stakes win so she deserved it.
“We will play it by ear now as to where she goes next. As long as there is some rain around and give in the tracks she will be well suited as she has had a brief freshen-up after a taxing winter so there should be a few runs left in her yet.”
Demonetization caught the eye when battling on bravely to finish runner-up in his second start back from an injury enforced spell while race favourite Sherrif also impressed when charging home late for fifth. – NZ Racing Desk