It would’ve taken well over four hours to get to the Wellington races yesterday, 14th January 2018, but it was a worthwhile trip after SECRET MISTRESS, a four-year-old brown mare by the American stallion Congrats out of the Zabeel mare Scone, recorded her second win in the fifth race on the card the Peter Milling & Co. Class 1 and Maiden Plate (1700m).
The race had a strong local contingency and were favoured to “take home the chocolates”. However punters rallied to back SECRET MISTRESS late in the betting, halving her price from $11 into $5.50 sending her out as third pick behind Nurture ($3.70) and Mount Taishan ($4.00).
SECRET MISTRESS had Shaun Guymer to ride, she had been allocated the reasonable weight of 57kgs and the pair would jump from barrier seven out of a possible twelve. The track rating was a Good 4.
The plan was to be positive out of the barriers and take up a forward position and travel within the mare’s comfort zone then finish off in the home straight. The script couldn’t have been played out any better.
The 1700 metres start at Wellington is at the beginning of the straight that runs adjacent to the grandstand. The field jumped and without too much pressure being applied Shaun and his mount had settled outside the leader, which was Dizzy Spell, just prior to passing the winning post for the first time.
The field remained pretty much the same until they reached the 900 metres marker when one of the back markers, Bliss Point, made a move finishing up settling one out one back. SECRET MISTRESS was still happy to sit three-quarters of a length back, outside the leader.
After reaching the top of the hill in the back straight with about 700 metres left to run, the pace quickened. Mount Taishan, the second favourite, had moved off the rail and making a forward move at the same time Quirion had gained on the leaders along the rail.
Approaching the home turn Quirion had moved out another horse off the fence to get clear running around the leaders in doing so forced Mount Taishan, four to five wide at the point of the turn.
It was at that moment, Shaun decided to ask SECRET MISTRESS to up the ante, she responded in kind drawing level with Dizzy Spell who was under hard riding and sticking on well. The pair managed to keep the two behind them at bay.
There was still 100 metres to go, SECRET MISTRESS had got ahead of Dizzy Spell with that horse still fighting strongly on her inside. Mount Taishan had got a second wind and was charging to the finish line.
Passing the winning post it was SECRET MISTRESS first, second went to Dizzy Spell, who had the audacity to come again close to the line, with Mount Taishan in third.
“Congrats” to all of the owners, A copybook ride from Shaun and a fine performance from the mare. Going forward, may there be more wins in store for SECRET MISTRESS.