Lady Le Fay’s luck changes round
forward to getting her over ground,’’ said Kris Shailer. ‘‘Things didn’t go to plan on Saturday but she was still too good for them, so yeah, she looks very promising.’’
Lady Le Fay’s maiden win was over 1600 metres in late September, after which she repeated over the same track and distance on Team Wealleans Matamata Cup day and then hit the line hard for third, again over 1600 metres, at Te Rapa on October 27.
‘‘Being forced to race wide without cover in those conditions on Saturday made it a tough run, so we’ll give her a few days to get over it,’’ added Kris. ‘‘We’ll see what points she gets for the win and then decide whether to give her another run or perhaps wait for the Waikato Cup.
‘‘If we thought she’d make the field it wouldn’t worry us if she didn’t run again; she’s a horse that doesn’t need a lot of work once she’s fully fit.’’
The Thorn Park mare’s recent fortunes are in direct contrast to what began as a frustrating sequence just over a year ago.
After an unlucky debut second as a spring three-year-old she was being seriously considered for the New Zealand 1000 Guineas, but a virus brought an end to those plans.
Once she recovered, attention turned to major age group events later in the season, only for a bone-chip in a fetlock to surface days before her comeback race, necessitating surgery and an even longer recovery. All of 10 months went by before Lady Le Fay finally made it back to the races, finishing third, then fourth, before her breakthrough win.
Lady Le Fay is owned by Waikato Stud employee Michael Hughes, who paid $25,000 for her at the 2012 Karaka yearling sales and then took a group of family and friends into a racing partnership.
‘‘I really liked her bloodlines and bought her as a long-term broodmare prospect, but after a few testing times I was thinking she might being going to stud without a win beside her name,’’ says Michael.
‘‘She’s come good though and we’re having a lot of fun with her.’’
The gremlins had some fun with my copy on this page late last month referring to the comeback from serious leg fractures by jockey Cameron Lammas.
As if to correct any confusion in the anomalous report, Cameron has continued to kick home the winners, with three at last week’s local meeting, a double at Dargaville on Friday and one more at Tauranga taking his comeback tally to nine wins from 56 rides.
Another locally based jockey, Wexford Stables apprentice Brendan Hutton, is also making up for lost time caused by a complicated ankle fracture.
After riding 18 winners in his first season the Irish-born 21-year-old missed all of last term, but is back in action with a double at Dargaville and another on longshot Undiscovered the following day at Tauranga.
IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE: Lady Le Fay, pictured in an earlier win, stamped her staying credentials with an impressive performance at Tauranga on Saturday.