Progressive mare Malt Time left it late but got in the deciding stride to register her first victory at Stakes level when she took out the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint (1200m).
The lightly raced six-year-old was having just her 15th career start in Saturday’s feature event at Te Rapa, although she had well and truly hinted she would be a serious lightweight contender after storming to victory over 1100m under a 57.5kg steadier in lesser company at her last start.
Carrying a luxurious 53kgs on this occasion, jockey Masa Hashizume allowed the natural back runner to find her feet early in in the contest, settling beyond midfield from her inside barrier as Tightlign set up a hectic speed in front.
In a pocket early in the run home, Hashizume angled Malt Time into the clear and after a brief bumping duel with race favourite Tevere, set out after Tightlign who looked to have a winning break.
Just as Tightlign was being hailed the winner, Malt Time lunged to put her nose in front at the winning post and claim victory.
Co-trainer Shaun Clotworthy, who prepares the mare alongside wife Emma, was concerned the bump that his charge took clearing a pocket in the run home had cost her victory.
“I’m rapt with that as I knew the angle favours the outside in a tight finish at Te Rapa and she got there,” he said.
“Mind you at the 100m I didn’t think she had any chance to win as she lost some momentum getting clear and I thought it was all over.
“That type of pattern today suits her as she needs to find her feet early and she can really finish her races off strongly, which you saw at the finish.”
Clotworthy was also delighted for part-owner Bill Borrie who had purchased the mare by Adelaide for $4,100 off gavelhouse.com back in 2018 as a broken-in two-year-old.
“Bill bought her off gavelhouse and she didn’t race until a late three-year-old as she had a few issues,” Clotworthy said.
“She has cost herself races by running about but time has helped her and now she is a little stronger, she has really come to it in the last six months.
“The way she races I think 1400m will be ideal for her so we might look at the Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.2, 1400m) at Pukekohe in a fortnight for her next.”
Bred by Nearco Stud and raised at Curraghmore, Malt Time is raced by Bill and Carrie Borrie.
Malt Time is out of the Pins mare Pimms Time, who numbered the Gr.2 Travis Stakes (2000m) amongst her six career victories.
Her extended family includes dual Group One winner Railings and Australian champion three and four-year-old Emancipation. – NZ Racing Desk