Group One mare Consensus made it successive Group Three victories with a tough win in the Platinum Homes Taranaki Cup (1800m) on Saturday.
The Stephen McKee-trained mare had won just one race since landing the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day 2016, until dominating her rivals in the Gr.3 Trentham Stakes (2100m) last month and is racing like a mare with an air of confidence.
The seven-year-old mare again looked beautifully placed under the set weights and penalties conditions and was well ridden by Chris Johnson to win narrowly from the fast-closing Dolcetto, while on-pacer Shadow Fox finished third.
“It looked like 250m out she was going to run away, but Shadow Fox fought back and then Dolcetto came late, so she had to grind it out,” McKee said.
“She got a great position. I actually thought that Overtheriver would go forward as well and that there would probably be a bit more speed on than there was, but Chris got in a lovely spot and she did the rest.
“It’s really good to have her back in form. She is a past Group One winner so you don’t like to see their form tail off.”
Consensus has now won ten of her 52 starts, with a further 12 placings and has won more than $600,000 in prizemoney.
McKee will likely bypass next week’s Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.
The Ardmore trainer said Consensus might again been seen at the Sydney autumn carnival after performing credibly when fourth in last year’s Gr.1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill and sixth behind Winx in the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.
“We’ve got a few options. There are a couple of options in Australia or the Bonecrusher (New Zealand) Stakes (Gr.1, 2000m) at Ellerslie.” – NZ Racing Desk