Previously a five-time placegetter at Group level, classy mare Our Alley Cat (Atlante x Sima) broke through and secured her first stakes win in style in Saturday’s Gr.3 Valley D’Vine Restaurant Spring Sprint (1400m) at Hastings.
The seven-year-old daughter of Atlante went into the $120,000 feature as the winner of six of her 29 starts, but she had also been runner-up behind Levante and Imperatriz in two editions of the Gr.2 Westbury Classic (1400m), second to Showoroses in the Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m), third behind Belclare and Skew Wiff in the Gr.1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m), and third to Babylon Berlin and Packing Rockstar in the Gr.3 King’s Plate (1400m).
Saturday was finally her day in the sun. Our Alley Cat was awkwardly drawn in gate nine, but she was given a dream run by red-hot jockey Opie Bosson, who rode four of the first six winners on the Hastings card.
Our Alley Cat trailed a hot pace set by Not Guilty, then moved up alongside that rival at the top of the home straight. She took command at the 200m mark and drew clear with ease, opening up a winning margin of two and three-quarter lengths.
Not Guilty held on bravely for second, just ahead of Mercurial, El Vencedor and beaten favourite Romancing The Moon. The time for the 1400m feature was a slick 1:21.95.
Saturday’s black-type breakthrough was an enormously satisfying reward for Our Alley Cat’s trainer and part-owner Vicki Prendergast, whose stable star has now banked $307,935 in stakes.
“She’s such a special horse to us,” said the Matamata trainer, who was credited with the first black-type success of her career.
“We nearly retired her after last season, but I thought, ‘Come on – we’ve really got to win a Listed race or something with her.’ She really deserved to win one. She’s been such a good horse.
“She’s run second behind Levante and Imperatriz in big races, and she really deserved to win one. Finally she’s done it.
“The pace was really on today, and it probably wasn’t ideal with the draw that we had, but we had the jockey, didn’t we?”
Our Alley Cat became the fifth individual stakes winner for former Mapperley Stud stallion Atlante. Her dam, the Scaredee Cat mare Cat Woman, won five races and placed in the Listed Warstep Stakes (2000m). – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk.