Pa­tience wins in the end with tal­ented filly

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - DEN­NIS RYAN

‘‘She was in a bad way and all we could do was box her for the best part of three months and take it from there.’’

Re­lief was Dan­ica Guy’s dom­i­nant emo­tion when her two-yearold filly As­tor made a win­ning re­turn at Hast­ings last week.

Back in the spring Dan­ica re­alised when As­tor won her first two tri­als that she had a rare tal­ent on her hands. The If­fraaj filly was well fan­cied in her race de­but at Te Rapa in Novem­ber and there was some dis­ap­point­ment when she pro­duced what ini­tially looked like a bat­tling third.

Dis­ap­point­ment quickly turned to dis­may, how­ever, when As­tor was very lame in a hind leg af­ter the race and sub­se­quent x-rays re­vealed a stress frac­ture of the main hip bone, the tibia.

‘‘She was in a bad way and all we could do was box her for the best part of three months and take it from there,’’ Dan­ica re­called af­ter As­tor had out­classed her op­po­si­tion lead­ing through­out over 800 me­tres at Hast­ings on Thurs­day.

‘‘We had to take things very care­fully with her but even­tu­ally she re­cov­ered and we got the all­clear to put her back into work.

‘‘I treated this race pretty much as a trial and it was good to see her do it so eas­ily – ob­vi­ously she hasn’t lost any of her abil­ity. The plan now is to set her for the Gold Trail Stakes back here in Septem­ber.’’

As­tor is an­other classy per­former for her Ti­rau owner Gary Hard­ing, who also raced an­other by If­fraaj, Filly of the Year Fix, and has Capella also with Dan­ica Guy. She won the Gr. 2 Eight Carat Classic and fin­ished fourth in the New Zealand Derby at three, but noth­ing went right in her four-year-old campaign.

The early stages of Capella’s lat­est preparation are en­cour­ag­ing, how­ever, and she is on tar­get to re­turn to competition at next week’s Te Teko tri­als.

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