Perfect Start (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) yesterday earned some serious travelling money for Riccarton, where connections are hoping to play a strong family hand in the Group Three Winter Cup.
The filly was a class above her rivals in the NZ Bloodstock Leasing & Finance 3YO at New Plymouth and will join her older half-sister Art Beat (NZ) (Captain Rio), the defending champion in the 1600 metre feature, on the trip south.
“She’s going to Christchurch. She’s quite a way down in the Winter Cup and might not get in but there are other races for her,” said Wayne Hillis, who trains the three-year-old with wife Vanessa.
She is the winner of four of her fourteen starts and has come in from $31 to $26 for the cup while Art Beat is being kept safe by TAB bookmakers at $12.
Perfect Start’s regular rider Noel Harris believes she can be competitive in stronger company after a canny ride got her home effortlessly at Pukekura Raceway.
“I’ve got lots of time for this filly and she keeps stepping up,” Harris said. “For a three-year-old filly she’s so strong and will get better.”
The veteran rider settled her off the pace and came widest of all to guide her home down the outskirts of the track for a runaway four and a quarter length victory. Pacemaker Cornelius (NZ) (Spartacus) boxed on well for second ahead of Nancylee (NZ) (Ekraar).
Out of the Peintre Celebre mare Artemesia, Perfect Start is also a half-sister to stablemates Smartly (Fast ‘N’ Famous), the winner of four races, and the juvenile Darting (Darci Brahma), who has shown promise in a brief career to date.
Race Taranaki RC New Zealand Bloodstock Leasing & Finance H. 1600m
Winner Perfect Start (NZ) 2009
Owners G & Mrs S Bluett & J F Marks
Trainer Vanessa & Wayne Hillis (Matamata)
Breeding by Perfectly Ready (Aus) out of Artemesia by Peintre Celebre (USA)
Breeder G & Mrs S Bluett, G G Syndicate Ltd & J F Marks
Source: NZ Thoroughbred Marketing