Cambridge galloper Fiscal Fantasy had to call on all her reserves on Friday to take out the Gr.3 Property Brokers Arohanui Hospice Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes (2000m) at Awapuni.
The Frank Ritchie-trained mare jumped from barrier 12 and settled towards the rear of the field for jockey Leith Innes, where she remained throughout.
Innes had to steer his charge to the extreme outside of the track when turning for home and the daughter of Skilled was able run down her opposition and nab Monrecour on the line to win by a neck, with Lubaya a further 1-1/2 lengths back in third.
Ritchie said he headed into the race with reserved expectations given his mare’s wide barrier, but he was delighted to get the result.
“When we got the wide draw I thought ‘not again’, because she has been beaten by wide draws so many times. As the day went on it didn’t look quite so bad,” he said.
“She is a real sweetheart. She has got a heart much bigger than herself, because she’s tiny. She never gives it away.”
Ritchie said he was on the cusp of not bringing Fiscal Fantasy south for the race, but he is glad he did and she will now possibly head to the Gr.2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa later this month.
“To be honest I had some trepidation about coming down for this race because she’s had a hard season,” Ritchie said. “But I gave her a bit of a break and the owners were all keen, so it’s more their race than mine.
“She’s had a hard season, but she’s as tough as they come. I guess now, on this, we will have a look at the Travis Stakes. It’s three weeks away. She had to show today that she was up to it (and she was), so we will look at that.” – NZ Racing Desk