Group-placed mare Hello M’Lady will be tested tomorrow when she steps up in grade against some smart horses in the ITM PSP Open Sprint at New Plymouth over 1300 metres.
The four-year-old Shocking mare is unbeaten in her current campaign, winning both of her races with ease at Rotorua. While she was impressive in those races, trainer and part-owner Vicki Prendergast is wary of the step up in class.
“They have been pretty soft fields, so they don’t tell you a whole lot,” she said.
“We always knew she was pretty smart, she showed that last season when she placed in the stakes races (Gr. 3 Bonecrusher Stakes and Listed Wanganui Guineas).
“She just needed to get some confidence and we needed to get her out of maiden grade, so we started her in a couple of soft fields and it paid off.”
In her two wins Hello M’Lady has drawn wide, dropped back early before improving from the 600-metre mark and racing away from her opposition. She has once again drawn a wide barrier and similar tactics are likely to be adopted.
Prendergast is happy with the way her stable star has been working since her last start, but said tomorrow’s race will answer a lot of questions.
“We have been pretty soft on her the first couple of weeks after her last start," she said. “That may have been a week too long, but I didn’t want to cart her all the way down to Tauherenikau last weekend.
“She has galloped lovely this week and I think she is just as ready as she was for her last couple of races, but she is up in a lot higher grade now so we’re really only doing it to see what we have got and see where we stand.”
The once-unwanted Hello M’Lady has quickly become a favourite in Prendergast’s Matamata stable.
“She was given to us and we tried to give her away, but no one wanted her so we pottered along with her,” she said.
“She is just really nice to have around, she’s a great little horse and is always ready to give you a cuddle. We quite like having her around otherwise we would have sold her by now, we’ve had plenty of offers.”
Already Group-placed, she could add to that tally next month with a likely run in the Gr. 3 Spring Sprint on the last day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.
“There are not many other races for her because she doesn’t have enough points for any of the earlier races,” Prendergast said. “We’ll then look at giving her a spell after that.”
NZ Racing Desk