Trainer Chrissy Bambry celebrated her recent engagement with a huge result at Hastings on Saturday when Flower Of Wanaka (NZ) (Burgundy) downed a solid line-up of fillies and mares in the Listed Team Wealleans Tauranga Classic (1400m).
The four-year-old daughter made light of her support on the tote, which saw her start at odds of better than $45, as she produced a resolute finish in the concluding stages to hold out the fast-finishing Secret Amour (NZ) (Niagara) and another outsider in Shelbyrock’n (NZ) (Rock ‘N’ Pop).
Unsighted since finishing third at Otaki back in November, the one-race winner didn’t look out of her grade as she travelled sweetly during the contest where race favourite Wessex (NZ) (Tun Me Loose) set up a breakneck speed in front.
Wessex began to battle at the 200m as Flower Of Wanaka and rider Lily Sutherland swept to the front, quickly putting the final result beyond doubt as they took the win by just on two lengths.
Bambry, who recently returned from a break in Fiji with fiancée Andrew Lacy, was thrilled to get the victory with a mare she describes as “an absolute honey”.
“She is a mare who just tries so hard and is a pleasure to do anything with,” Bambry said.
“She loves it here at Hastings, so we thought we would kick off her new campaign in the rating 65 1400m, but when they moved this race here, I thought we should give it a go and test her out in stakes company.
“She has really matured over the break she had and while I thought she would be a chance I was surprised at just how easily she won it.”
Bambry was quick to praise the ride of apprentice Sutherland, who followed her instructions to the letter.
“Lily was just superb,” she said.
“We had a chat and noted that Wessex was likely to go forward strongly, so I didn’t want to be too far off her at the turn.
“Lily got her in a lovely rhythm and when she wound up she just burst away from them.
“She comes from a lovely family and this win really adds to her value in the future, so I think we might see if we can get her more black type over the next few months.
“I don’t have any specific targets, but I will talk to her owner and see if we might put in a late nomination for the Winter Cup at Riccarton.”
The Gr.3 Winning Edge Presentations Winter Cup (1600m) will be run at Riccarton on August 5.
Bred and raced by Gene Tsoi under his Standard 2020 Ltd banner, Flower Of Wanaka is a daughter of the Green Perfume mare Wanaka, the dam of Gr.2 Western Australian Derby (2400m) winner Tuscan Dream and a half-sister to 2003 Singapore Horse Of The Year, Zirna.