Sleeping Beauty wakes
WINTER track specialist Sleeping Beauty didn’t let a chance pass her by at Tauranga yesterday.
She revelled in the heavy going to bounce back to her best and win for the sixth time in her 13-start career when successful in the Aongatete Coolstores Limited Premier (1200m).
Raced by Sir Peter Vela, Sleeping Beauty had struggled in the opening two runs of her current campaign on ground firmer than is her preference.
“Her two trials before her first two runs were super and we thought she was flying, but she ran into a couple of tracks that were too good,” said Andrew Scott, who trains with Lance O’Sullivan.
“Sir Peter and [racing manager] Gary Cossey have been really patient. This was her first run for seven weeks, so that was a question mark, and it’s fantastic to see her back in form now the winter tracks are here.”
Sleeping Beauty was ridden by the stable apprentice Taiki Yanagida and he had the Rip Van Winkle mare in the hunt early and she proved superior in the run home.
“It was a good ride, he showed good judgement in letting her slide up to the leader so it’s good for his confidence,” Scott said.
“The weight relief was a massive help, with 52.5kg it brought her right into the race.”
Sleeping Beauty challenged the front-runner Temple Tiger TRISH DUNELL 250m from the post and edged clear to win by three-quarters of a length.
“I’m really happy. The four kilo claim helped her and she loves wet tracks,” Yanagida said.
Justacanta came from the back of the field for third ahead of Az Given, who was brave after challenging three wide before the turn. ● Andrew Campbell admitted to a huge feeling of relief after Padraig turned the stable’s fortunes around yesterday.
The Cambridge trainer has endured a frustrating year with a virus affecting the majority of his runners.
“We’ve had a very bad run, it’s great to get the monkey off my back,” Campbell said.
He was referring to Padraig’s Tauranga success in the Seeka Premier Handicap against the older horses.
“He won well, he was running out of his grade so it was a tough effort,” Campbell said.
Padraig, who won in Victoria during a stint with Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, had been beaten over 1200m when resuming.
“He didn’t do much fresh-up and I was scratching my head. I think he just needed more ground,” he said.
Taiki Yanagida is all smiles after winning on Sleeping Beauty at Tauranga yesterday.