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Secret Spirit has three consecutive black type victories to her credit on heavy tracks but she’s no one trick pony, according to her regular rider Craig Grylls.
She overcame rain-affected going to win the Great Northern Foal Stakes and the Ryder Stakes at Listed level last season and at Wanganui on Saturday she added the Listed O’Leary’s Fillies’ Stakes to her record.
|Secret Spirit Photo: Race Images Palmerston North|
“She will be better suited to the better footing,” Grylls said. “She’s not very big, but she’s got a big ticker and is just so honest.”
Trained by Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott, Secret Spirit settled off a strong early pace before she was flushed out when improving on the home turn.
“She was dipping in the ground at the 600 and to her credit she got out to the better ground and she really stormed home,” Scott said.
The daughter of Swiss Ace came with a powerful finishing run to win by a widening two and three quarter lengths from New York Minute while the maiden Keepelo made ground along the fence to take third off her stablemate Heart Of Th’Castle.
Secret Spirit hadn’t run since she claimed the Ryder Stakes on her previous visit to the central districts in July, but Scott said they were more than happy with the three-year-old’s preparation.
“She had a week or so off after that and we got enough work into her,” Scott said. “She always races well with her races spaced and we were happy with her going into this.
“She always goes out and tries so hard. This was a step up and we wanted to tuck in fifth or sixth and not give them too big a start turning for home.
“She’s a tough little filly and we’ll probably head toward the Soliloquy now.” – NZ Racing Desk.