Speedy filly Ulanova gave her rivals a good old-fashioned beating as she led all the way to take out the Gr.3 Platinum Homes New Plymouth Taranaki 2YO Classic (1200m) in effortless fashion.
Fresh off a solid effort for fourth in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Pukekohe, where she also led and was only claimed in the final 100m, the Stephen Marsh-trained daughter of Santos never looked like being caught on this occasion.
Cuddled up in front by rider Craig Grylls, Ulanova used her high cruising speed to dictate from barrier rise and approaching the home turn it was evident Grylls had a lapful of horse under him.
Given her head in the straight she dashed clear in the final stages to win comfortably by more than six lengths from Lantern Way, who chased in vain, with the Te Akau Racing pair of She Turns Heads and Rubicon Crossing the next home.
Grylls admitted the final result was never in doubt once he found the front on the filly.
“We jumped, found the lead and got it reasonably soft,” Grylls said.
“Talking to Stephen before the race I said I would try and cuddle her up for as long as possible and she has kicked away, where it was pretty easy in the end.
“She was strong right through the line and I think she is a pretty fair animal who we will see a lot more of.”
Marsh Racing stable foreman Rhys Mildon was quietly confident of a good performance by the filly once the track had been upgraded to a Soft 5 from a Heavy 8 during the day.
“They have produced the track beautifully today and with the improvement in it, I’d say there is a very relieved trainer back in Cambridge,” he said.
“It was really good to see her run the 1200m right out and that gives us hope for the future.
“She got a little hot today so it will be up to Stephen to decide where she goes next after we see how she comes through this.”
Ulanova was bred by Ancroft Stud and sold through Kilgravin Lodge’s draft at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale to expatriate New Zealand agent Michael Wallace for $150,000.
His Lexington-based Telluride Agency races the filly with brother David and American client Kuldeep Singh Rajput’s Gandharvi Racing.
She has now won two of her four starts and over $113,000 in prizemoney.