Stakes winning filly Annavisto (NZ) (Reliable Man) turned a three-year-old handicap at Caulfield into a stroll in the park, when comfortably winning the Hylands Race Colours Handicap (1400m) on Saturday.
Despite carrying topweight of 60kgs, the Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained filly sat outside the leader under a gun Mark Zahra ride and cruised to the line more than two lengths to the good of her rivals when asked to go in the home straight.
The win advances Annavisto’s record to four wins from seven starts and the Listed Bendigo Guineas (1400m) winner is likely to have one more stakes target for the season.
“She’s good. I think if there’s enough horse there then we can go to Adelaide and run in the Nitschke Stakes, Listed 1400 metres for three-year-olds at Morphettville on April 24. That’ll do her, I’d say,” Price said.
“We never intended to go too deep into her prep and she can have a nice spell. The older she gets the better she’ll get.”
Winning rider Mark Zahra had the luxury of sitting up on the filly as he crossed the line.
“It was easy. Dylan (Dunn, Air Defence) was keen to lead inside me and she was a bit keen in the first bit. If I started to cross him I wouldn’t have been sure that I could get her back. So I just had to fight her a little bit early and once we went a little bit quicker she was beautiful,” Zahra said.
“It’s hard out there because there is a really strong headwind. You don’t hear anything but the way she quickened into the straight she gave me a really good feeling underneath me. Then I was able to see the big screen and sit up.”
Sporting the colours of Bill Frost’s Pendant Equine, Annavisto was identified by bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo and purchased out of Tony Pike’s stable in New Zealand after winning a trial at Te Teko in February of last year.
Amongst the ownership are a number of former AFL stars including Essendon’s Jobe Watson, who was on track to see the win.
Bred by Greg Tomlinson, who remains in the ownership, Annavisto is by Westbury Stud stallion Reliable Man out of the Tavistock mare, Avisto, a multiple stakes winner.
The victory was a timely one, with Tomlinson set to offer a yearling half-brother to Annavisto by Almanzor at next week’s South Island Sale, which is conducted online via Gavelhouse Plus.
The gelding is being offered through Curraghmore's draft. – NZ Racing Desk