The Stephen Autridge-trained Woodcote Lass could be set to tackle black-type company in the near future after her gutsy maiden victory at Arawa Park on Friday.
The daughter of Showcasing jumped well from barrier four in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1230m) and raced three-wide throughout for Samantha Collett.
The Kevin Hickman-owned two-year-old filly showed her fortitude to battle on stoutly on the outside of the track to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Quick thinker, with Shibuya Kosaten a further 5-1/2 lengths back in third.
“She does show a fair bit,” Autridge said. “We did have some concerns of whether she would handle the track (Slow9). She drew four, kept a bit wide and ended up in the best place.
“At the 600m there were a few behind us that looked like they were coming into it, but they were doing overtime in the bad ground and we were out in the better ground going well.
“She has always shown plenty and it’s good to have a horse who can handle a bit of cut in the ground.”
Autridge said he may now set his exciting juvenile some black-type targets in the near future.
“There are a couple of nice Listed races coming up, but they will be heavier tracks.”
Jockey Sam Collett shared Autridge’s concerns about the track conditions heading into the race, but took some confidence out of her trial win on the track last month.
“I was a little bit unsure how she would handle the track conditions. After her last start I told Stephen I wasn’t sure if she would handle a slow track,” she said.
“She obviously won a trial here, so she knew her way around alright. She is professional and tough.”
Woodcote Lass became the 12th individual two-year-old winner for former Haunui Farm shuttle stallion Showcasing.