Four-year-old mare Annavisto (Reliable Man x Avisto) was electric first-up at Flemington on Saturday when leading throughout to land the Gr.3 Frances Tressady Stakes (1400m) for trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr.
The daughter of Reliable Man relished the sting out of the ground on the Soft 6 surface and has potentially set herself up for a lucrative target in Sydney.
Winning jockey Jamie Kah is perfectly suited to the talented mare, getting her to relax outside the leader Electric Girl without over-racing before skipping clear to record a three-and-a-quarter-length victory over runner-up Vespertine, with Electric Girl third.
"It's a campaign about getting her a Group One and that was good," Price said.
"It was a dominant win. I thought she might be a bit vulnerable first-up because she's a mare that has taken a long time to furnish and hold weight.
"She tends to bang off a lot of nervous energy. She needs to progress and win better Group races.
"The thing about her is her toe in the ground. As soon as she feels the hard tracks, she tends to jar up a little bit. The rain was beautiful for her."
The Gr.2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 26 looms as the mare's next target as it gives her a two-week break into the Gr.1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on April 9.
Winning Jockey Jamie Kah was pleased with the improvement the New Zealand bred mare has made since her previous campaign.
“It was lovely. She’s matured a lot, this prep, physically and mentally. She allowed me a take a nice sit today and she relaxed. That was probably the difference in the finish. She was very strong late,” Kah said.
“She’s always been a talented horse but she’s done it a bit too hard early in her races. I think now that she’s matured we can take that sit if we need to.
“Physically she’s a different horse. She’s grown and I think she’s in for a good prep.”
Previously a Listed winner and Group Three-placed, Annavisto has now won six of her 13 starts and sports the colours of Bill Frost’s Pendant Equine.
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.
Amongst the ownership are a number of former AFL stars including Essendon’s Jobe Watson.
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.
There are 19 yearlings by Reliable Man to go under the hammer at Karaka this week at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales which commence on Monday at 11 am.
Reliable Man is also the sire of Saturday’s impressive Gr.2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) winner Inspirational Girl, who will be among the favourites for the A$5 million All-Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington on March 19. – NZ Racing Desk
WINNER: Annavisto, 2017 Bay Mare
BREEDING: by Reliable Man out of Avisto (Tavistock)
BREEDER: Nearco Stud
RACE: Gr.3 Frances Tressady Stakes (1400m)