Flying mare Faithful Feat (NZ) (Per Incanto x On Yer Feet) showed all her fighting qualities when she overcame a wide barrier, a hefty 58.5kg impost and a heavy downpour that created vision problems for all horses and riders to claim her first black type victory when taking out the Gr.3 J Swap Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa.
The daughter of Per Incanto had won her previous start on the track last month carrying just 54kgs but jumped up a further 4.5kgs for Saturday’s contest against a quality field of sprinters.
Rider Sam Spratt took the bull by the horns as she bustled the Peter Lock-trained five-year-old to the front from barrier 16 and set up a strong speed throughout.
Challenged on the point of the home bend, Faithful Feat found a strong kick to put a length on her rivals and despite being hotly challenged by Puntura (NZ) (Vespa) in the final 200m, she held out the Taranaki visitor by a head at the post.
Spratt was clearly taken by the tenacity of performance as she felt she was in plenty of trouble when challenged in the run home.
“We were always going to be positive, but it was a worry from the wide draw and carrying a lot more weight,” Spratt said.
“She was tough man, when they came at her I thought she might lie down, but she just dug deep.
“I think if she had had a better draw she would have won by even further.
“She is just gutsy and she had every opportunity to fold and she didn’t.”
Lock cut an emotional figure after the race as he outlined plans to try and contest the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham in January with his charge.
“I’m speechless as I said if she could run in the money from an outside draw, with that weight on her back, then she is a very good horse,” he said.
“We’ve never doubted her so I’m pretty happy right now.
“This is very special and she is a special horse as she is related to my former good horse Hiflyer.
“The owners have just been so patient and I take my hat off to them as it makes my job so much easier.
“We’ll go home now and have a think about what’s next as we will get too much weight for a handicap race now, but I’d love to go to the Thorndon Mile.
“I don’t know if she will get a mile but I’d like to have a crack.”
Bred and raced by Ian MacDonald and Peter Hart, Faithful Feat is out of the Snitzel mare On Yer Feet (NZ), a half-sister to Lock’s multiple Group Three winner Hiflyer (NZ) (Tavistock), who was Group One placed on two occasions, including when third to Stolen Dance (NZ) (Alamosa) in the 2018 Thorndon Mile.
She has now won seven of her 15 starts and over $217,000 in prizemoney. -NZ Racing Desk