Precious Time waiting on Matamata Cup weather
12th Oct 2012
Jason Bridgman welcomed news that Precious Time (NZ) (Stravinsky) had got the scratching she needed to clinch a start in tomorrow’s $50,000 Team Wealleans Matamata Cup (1600m).
But the Matamata trainer warned that even though the Stravinsky mare had gained promotion from the ballots into the final field, she was still no certainty to run.
|Precious Time (NZ) (Stravinsky)|
The Matamata track was yesterday rated a dead five but rain was forecast for tomorrow.
‘‘I was relieved to see her get in then disappointed to see the forecast,’’ Bridgman said yesterday.
‘‘But first things first - at least she’s made the field.’’
Precious Time, who made the field after the scratching of La Vienne (NZ) (Thorn Park), was yesterday installed the TAB’s $7 final field favourite, ahead of last-start Mitchelson Cup winner Gurus Spirit (NZ) (Ishiguru) at $7.50, last-start Karaka Classic winner Cong’er (NZ) (Zenno Rob Roy) at $8, Capone (NZ) (Al Akbar) at $9 and Amberio (NZ) (Captain Rio) and 2010 Matamata Cup winner Atom Cat (NZ) (Traditionally) at $10.
Bridgman yesterday admitted surprise that Precious Time had been made the favourite, saying he didn’t think she would have been on the bookmakers’ radar.
But he conceded he had long known of the mare’s potential.
‘‘She’s a mare who deserves her place in black-type races. She’s come up really well, she’s got home-track advantage and the mile is right for her now,’’ Bridgman said.
‘‘We had to go to Hastings first-up without a trial so there’s that query about her second-up, but on her work you wouldn’t be worried about that. The big danger is just the forecast. If it rains, she probably won’t run.’’
A winner of three of her nine starts, Precious Time showcased her potential with narrow, but impressive wins at Te Rapa and Te Aroha in successive races in the autumn.
She resumed with a fast-finishing third at Hastings last month and Bridgman said she had made good progress since.
‘‘She was massive at Hastings first-up. She got squeezed up at the 600m and she was just coming into it nicely at that point,’’ Bridgman said.
‘‘She’s just got that turn of foot, but needs a good track - a good three or dead four. If it’s worse than dead then she’s not a winning chance or a place chance even so we wouldn’t run her. It’s still early days in the spring.’’
Raced by Hunterville’s Christopher and Susanna Grace, Precious Time goes into tomorrow’s race as the least-experienced runner, despite her being a five-year-old.
She’s a little bit offset in her knees and we had to be patient with her early in the piece,’’ Bridgman said.
‘‘She had a bit of remodelling going on and we just had to bide our time. We got all through last season well pretty well and though she takes a bit of management because of her knees now, certainly work-wise and her form, she hasn’t regressed because of that.
‘‘David Ellis bought her for Christopher as a broodmare proposition and if we can get some black-type it will set her up nicely because she’s out of a wonderful family.
‘‘She’s got no mileage on the clock and some of the Stravinskys can be a bit late maturing and certainly being out of a Zabeel mare, the extra time has been a good thing for her.
‘‘She’s only got the nine runs on the clock and a horse like her, if you can get them through, her best runs will probably come as a five-year-old.’’
Bridgman said her win over 2200m at Te Aroha last April confirmed to him that Precious Time was a future stakes performer.
‘‘She found another gear over the last 100m like only the good ones can,’’ Bridgman said.
‘‘We’ll chase the small fish first, some of the Listed races, but who knows come Christmas time.
‘‘She’s more of a middle-distance horse - she’s too brilliant to go much further, but there’s plenty of fillies and mares options for her at 2000m and if she kept on improving we’d be looking towards weight-for-age fillies and mares’ events, like the Travis [Stakes], at the end of summer and autumn.
‘‘Apart from the run in the Rotorua Cup, when I wish I’d never run her after the rain came and it all went pear-shaped, she’s never run worse than third in her life.
‘‘Every time you go to the races there are different circumstances and you’ve got to have good ability to be able to do that and that for me marks stamps her as above the norm.’’
On a dead track, Bridgman expected Precious Time to be competitive tomorrow.
‘‘She should be sharp enough to run a good mile. She’s got a good record at a mile,’’ he said.
‘‘It took me a long time to step her up over a mile last year, mainly because she was sprinting so well, but once we got to a mile and further she was away.
‘‘She’ll probably settle just behind the speed, just forward of midfield, and she really hits the line so if she gets track conditions to suit, at the weights she’s got to be a big danger, a good eachway chance.’’
Aidan Rodley - Waikato TimesBack to News