Under a deluge of rain at Awapuni on Saturday, local trainer Roydon Bergerson came very close to withdrawing Town Cryer from the Listed ANZAC Mile (1600m) at his home meeting the following day, but he is thanking his lucky stars that he didn’t.
While the daughter of Tavistock missed the jump, jockey Craig Grylls took a positive approach with his mount and circled the field to take up a front-running role.
She held off the late challenge of Chikira Lass and Happy Star to win by three-quarters of a length and bring up Grylls’ 100th victory in the saddle for the season.
“It was a good, tough effort,” Bergerson said.
“I was surprised that she missed the jump, but Gryllsy didn’t panic and he sent her forward.
“It was a great result for Gryllsy. I think he has had four rides on her for three wins and a second. He has a pretty good record on the mare.”
The Heavy10 track conditions were a big concern for Bergerson ahead of the meeting, with his mare having previously competed on the surface on one prior occasion, finishing last over 1400m at Otaki on debut.
“We knew she was well, but we were a bit worried by the track conditions today,” he said.
“It (previous heavy track outing) was her first ever start and we thought she would canter around and win, but she ran about 10 lengths last.
“We thought we were going to pull her out yesterday, but it was a good call that we left her in.”
Bergerson has always had a high opinion of Town Cryer and recalls making a bold statement about the daughter of Tavistock when she was a juvenile.
“When she was a two-year-old, I was sitting there having a beer after work one day and I said to another trainer that I thought she could be a very good mare and I would bet the left side of my anatomy that she will be a Group horse one day,” he said.
Now a stakes winner, Town Cryer could realise Bergerson’s prediction next weekend in the Gr.2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.
“She may back-up next Saturday in the Travis. I will get my vet in tomorrow and see how she is and I’ll get Bruce Herd to give her a trot up in the morning and if she is all good we will head that way and Craig can ride her again,” Bergerson said.
Earlier on the card, Bergerson was celebrating the victory of stablemate Bradman in The Pavemasters Trophy (1200m).
“He has been a frustrating horse all of his life,” he said.
“Wiremu (Pinn, jockey) was happy with his manners today, he is usually quite badly behaved. He has got so much ability, but it is all in his head.
“We want to get him up to a mile or further. We know he can do it but he just races erratically. Hopefully he has found his way and a got a bit of confidence today.”
Bergerson was also pleased with his three other placings at his home meeting, which he was able to enjoy with his local owners.
“They all ran well today. We had six in today and the furthest away finished fourth. It was a good day out,” he said.
“All of the owners are here and there is a big barbeque going on at the moment so that will be a bit of fun.”