Promising three-year-old Espresso Martini resumed from a brief break in fine fashion when she dealt to her older rivals over 1400m at Tauranga on Saturday.
The royally-bred High Chaparral filly hadn’t been seen since finishing down the track in the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham back in January. That unplaced run came off the back of a tidy effort for fifth in the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day following a win at the same venue in the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial 3YO (1500m) earlier in December.
Sent straight to the front from a handy barrier draw by rider Lynsey Satherley, Espresso Martini dominated proceedings.
After stacking the field up approaching the home turn, Espresso Martini kicked strongly in the final 200m to win going away by a neat length on the Dead4 rated surface.
Co-trainer Murray Baker, who prepares the filly with training partner Andrew Forsman, had expected a forward showing from his charge and got exactly what he was looking for.
“She is a pretty nice filly and we were expecting a forward showing from her,” Baker said.
“In saying that she was taking on the older horses first up, so it was a good effort to win.”
Baker felt the brief spell after the disappointing run in the Levin Classic had worked well in Espresso Martini’s favour.
“She definitely needed a break after a couple of tough runs and she has come back nicely,” he said.
“She is a 1400m-1600m filly, so the distance was perfect for her as was the cut in the track, which is something I think she prefers.”
Baker will let the dust settle before deciding on an autumn path for filly who is a daughter of Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) winner, Keepa Cruisin who was also placed on two further occasions at Group One level.
Baker was philosophical when questioned about the performance of his three stable runners in the day’s feature event at Trentham, the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m).
Savabeel filly Clementina finished an unlucky fourth after being held-up in the home straight while race favourite Queen Of Diamonds and Rubira dropped out in the run home after both looked likely prospects early in the run home.
“I thought Clementina was very good as she didn’t get a lot of luck in the run home and made ground strongly at the end,” he said.
“The other two were a little disappointing and on the surface, they probably didn’t quite get the trip.
“They will come home and we can take a look at how they pull up before we do too much more with them.” – NZ Racing Desk