Group Three performer Secret Amour will be hunting an elusive stakes victory when she heads to Wanganui on Saturday.
The Robbie Patterson-trained mare was purchased by Tony Santic, of Makybe Diva fame, off gavelhouse.com earlier this year as a broodmare prospect and he is hopeful of adding a stakes win to her record before she heads to the breeding barn.
Secret Amour already boasts three stakes placings, including a third in the Listed AGC Training Stakes WFA (1650m) at Wanganui last year, and she will return to the track this weekend in a bid to better her result in the race, but this time over the shorter mile distance.
The daughter of Niagara finished sixth over 1300m at Te Rapa last month and Patterson was pleased with what he saw from his mare first-up.
“She was super fresh-up,” he said. “She was getting a heap of kickback and couldn’t see where she was going, but she finished it off really nice.
“She has gone on with it and is working really well. Hopefully she can get in front of the good horses in there and beat them home.”
Secret Amour has drawn barrier four in Saturday’s six-horse field and Patterson said she will be ridden to her usual racing pattern.
“She will get back and probably sit on the outside of Justaskme I would say. She is a natural back runner,” he said.
The current Heavy10 track conditions and wet weather forecast have been welcomed by Patterson, with the Taranaki conditioner believing they will aid his mare’s chances.
“She has had two runs at Wanganui and has won and run second on a Heavy track in a stakes race,” he said.
“I don’t think the ground will upset her, it may even help her to a degree, she just won’t get so far off them.”
While Patterson would love to see Secret Amour first past the post this weekend, it won’t be her only chance of stakes success this winter.
“I will probably freshen her up after the weekend and go to Tauranga for the 1400m black-type race (Listed Tauranga Classic) at the end of the month,” he said.
“We then have the Opunake Cup (Listed, 1400m) at home and then possibly the Winter Cup (Gr.3, 1600m), so there are a few targets for her all the way through the winter.”
Secret Amour will be joined on the float trip south on Saturday by stablemates Tanzanite Rose and The Hottie who are set to contest the Liquorland Whanganui 1340.
“Tanzanite Rose was massive last start and flew home. She has copped Wanganui with a bit of cut in the track and that should pan out quite nice for her,” Patterson said.
“I am still waiting to see if I can get a lightweight rider for The Hottie. She is working well and is a happy horse. If she gets a rider and gets a start, they are both going to be competitive.”
Watch Secret Amour's impressive last start effort at Te Rapa.