Capable wet track performer Art Deco put the first win on the board of her current campaign when she out-finished her rivals to take out the Courtesy Ford Handicap (1200m) at Otaki on Saturday.
The Allan Sharrock-trained six-year-old had finished in the money in her first four outings this season including a runner-up finish in the Listed Tauranga Classic (1400m) at her last start back in June.
Handled capably by apprentice rider Hazel Schofer, Art Deco enjoyed the 3kg weight reduction of her 60kg topweight provided by Schofer’s allowance as she maintained a solid home straight burst from last to down the evergreen Taurus with Deerfield battling on strongly for third.
Sharrock admitted he was surprised to see the Road To Rock mare so far back during the running of the event but it may be the key to getting the best out of her.
“That might be the key to her as she quite often gets to the front and buttons off,” Sharrock said.
“So, I think the quieter we ride her the better she will finish.”
Sharrock had resisted the temptation to line Art Deco up in last weekend’s Listed Opunake Cup (1400m) on her home track, preferring to wait a week as he gets set to test his charge over more ground in her coming starts.
“I was going to run her in the Opunake Cup, but John Bell’s horse (Helena Baby) at that weight, you couldn’t beat him,” he said.
“I said to Bill (co-owner, Bill Gleeson) let’s just wait and look for other races further along.
“She’s a 2000m mare on better ground so we’re just going to plot a course and head towards 2000m.
“There is one at Wanganui (September 7) that you can claim in, so we might just wait for that.”
Bred and owned by Peter Gillespie and Bill Gleeson, Art Deco has now won eight of her 32 career starts and has been placed on a further 17 occasions including three at stakes level. – NZ Racing Desk