Spring Heat brilliant in season opener

Spring Heat makes a winning return at Matamata  - Trish Dunell
Spring Heat makes a winning return at Matamata

Trish Dunell

The wait has been worth it for promising galloper Spring Heat who made a belated return to the track with brilliant fresh-up victory at Matamata on Saturday.

The locally trained mare had looked a class act during a three-year-old campaign that saw her win two of her five starts including the Gr.3 Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie.

Unsighted since finishing fifth in the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) back in January, the More Than Ready four-year-old had been unconvincing in two trials before making her return on Saturday in devastating fashion.

Co-trainer Andrew Scott, who prepares the mare with Lance O’Sullivan from their Matamata base, had indicated Spring Heat had turned the corner in her work when assessing her chances before the race.

That judgment proved spot on as she produced a sustained burst of speed from near last on the home bend, to win by a length and a quarter in a smart 1.10 for the 1200m journey on a Dead5 surface.

“I think Lance and all the team at home will take great pleasure from that,” Scott said.

“We’ve had to be incredibly patient with her as it all went a little bit wrong after the Levin Classic.

“She had a long break and we gave her all the time in the world.

“She hadn’t given us much at the trials where she was pretty plain, but all of her work in the last ten days suggested she was somewhere near her best.

“It was just so pleasing to see her quicken like we know she can, so all going well she might pick up a nice race in the autumn.”

Scott admitted the stable had been frustrated with the delay in getting the mare to the races, where she held a nomination for the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie, but was looking forward now she had put a confidence-boosting win on the board.

“We were all pretty fired-up early in the spring to get her there (the Railway) but when she wasn’t trialling well Lance said let’s take a deep breath and lower our sights,” he said.

“We brought her here to get some confidence going and it was the right move.

“She’ll take confidence from today as she is fit and well, so we can plan a good path for her in the autumn.

“We’ll work something out and you never know, we might even get across the Tasman with her as she’s a high-class mare.”

The O’Sullivan/Scott team enjoyed a successful day on their home turf with Spring Heat forming the middle leg of a winning treble after Wild Seas took out the opening event, while Cha Siu Bao bounced back to form over 2000m later in the day.  – NZ Racing Desk


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