Quality mare Annavisto (Reliable Man x Avisto) trialled in ominous fashion earlier in the month and converted that to an explosive raceday resumption when comfortably winning the Gr.3 Tony Bourke Memorial (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The five-year-old daughter of Reliable Man won the Group Three feature last year and produced a dominant on-speed performance on Saturday under Jamie Kah to go back-to-back.
Pressured for much of the contest by Wrote To Arataki, the pair of in-form mares got away from the field coming to the home turn before Annavisto found another gear to score by three and a half lengths.
Wrote To Arataki ($5.50) held onto second ahead of Excelida ($5), who made good ground from the rear of the field after a slow beginning.
Prepared by Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr, Annavisto is the winner of seven of her 17 starts, with a further six placings, including a runner-up finish in the Gr.1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on a heavy track at Randwick.
“She has come back better,” Kent Jnr said. “I thought she'd be a bit vulnerable first-up but she does run above herself fresh.
"We were hoping that (Dean) Yendall wouldn't do that (on Wrote To Arataki). Naughty boy there pushing her.
"I’m hoping she's not flat second-up. We're going to a Group One in three weeks' time and I’m rapt for the owners."
The New Zealand bred will go straight to the Gr.1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) for mares at Rosehill on March 11.
Winning rider Jamie Kah is also of the belief the mare has improved this campaign, running out the 1400m in a slick 1:21.59.
"I was quite kind on her in her trial. She doesn't do things by half so today she had to be strong and she was,” Kah said.
"She got a bit of pressure early and really coped with that. She likes to overdo it. She wasn't going steady so full credit to her. She's come back bigger and ready to run.
Bred by Greg Tomlinson, who remains in the ownership, Annavisto is by Westbury Stud stallion Reliable Man out of the Tavistock mare, Avisto, a multiple stakes winner.
Raised at Curraghmore, the mare sports the colours of Bill Frost’s Pendant Equine, while a number of former AFL stars including Essendon’s Jobe Watson are also in the ownership.
Annavisto was identified by bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo and purchased out of Tony Pike’s stable in New Zealand after winning a trial at Te Teko in February 2020. – NZ Racing Desk