A bold fresh-up win in the
ITM Makita Open at New Plymouth today hinted that Irish Heartbeat might
be about to make up for lost time after a string of setbacks.
Trainer Toby Autridge was clearly relieved after the seven-year-old
Electronic Zone mare came out on top in the $30,000 open sprint, holding
on strongly from the fast-finishing pair of Antonio Lombardo and Gypsy
“She’s been through a lot,” Autridge said. “She had a larynx
infection last year that took months to clear up, and then at the end of
her last campaign she had a growth in her wind pipe. The vets didn’t
know what it was and didn’t want to operate.
“I just chucked her out for a break, and then when I brought her back
there was no sign of it. It’s good to have her right, and hopefully
this year we can give her an uninterrupted prep.”
Irish Heartbeat has now had 31 starts for seven wins, 10 placings and
just under $120,000 in prize-money. A shot at spring carnival company
“We might end up at Hawke’s Bay,” Autridge said. “We could look at
one of the nice mile handicaps there – she won’t be having much weight.”
“She’s just a lovely mare. You can ride her anywhere and do what you like with her.”
The now eight-year-old Antonio Lombardo ran a bold race second-up as
he builds towards yet another visit to the Hawke’s Bay carnival, while
Gypsy Fair produced a strong follow-up to her last-start win in Heavy11
ground at Otaki.
The time for the 1300-metre event was 1:18.37 on a track that winning rider Lisa Allpress said was in good order.
"It's improving," she said. "They're just taking the top off it a little bit, but it's in really good condition."