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Winning return for talented mare

30 September 2017, 2:27 p.m.

Progressive galloper Euphoria emphasised her class when she kicked off her four-year-old season with a stylish victory in the opening event at New Plymouth.

The Rip Van Winkle mare was fresh-up off the back of a four-month break following a Brisbane winter campaign that was cut short after she contracted a virus. Despite the lengthy absence from the track, punters hadn’t forgotten the talent she displayed when putting together back-to-back victories during just four starts as a three-year-old and installed her as a warm favourite for the 990 metre rating 65 dash.

Euphoria Photo: Peter Rubery Race Images

Settled in midfield by rider Hayden Tinsley, Euphoria railed up sweetly approaching the home corner before quickly issuing a challenge early in the run home. A slap on the rump by Tinsley with 200 metres to run was enough to kick the mare into top gear and she exerted her superiority in the closing stages to win comfortably by a length from pacemaker Celebrated Achiever who fought on gamely for second.

Trainer Rachel Frost cut a relieved figure following the victory after expressing some concerns before the race.

“We were in two minds about coming here or giving her another run at the trials but it was a $20,000 prize and if she had of stormed home for third we would have been happy,” she said.

“We gave her a decent break after she came home from Queensland and then we’ve had to wait to try and get a better track to resume on.

“She’s a good horse and I guess the win is some compensation for the trials and tribulations we’ve had with her.”

Frost will take a wait and see approach with the mare who holds a nomination for the Gr. 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile on the second day of Christchurch Cup Week at Riccarton on 15 November.

“I haven’t really thought about where we will go from here so we’ll just see how she recovers before making any solid plans,” she explained.

“She does a hold a nomination for the Coupland’s Mile however she could just as well line-up in the Canterbury Breeders Stakes for the fillies and mares on the same day.

“Ideally she will have one more run up here before we head to Christchurch but at this stage I don’t know where that will be.” – NZ Racing Desk