Connections of the late bloomer Adriatic Pearl might have to bide their time for a bit longer to allow the mare to complete her CV.
They have been patient this far with the rising seven-year-old, who on Saturday won for the sixth time in only 21 appearances when she was successful in the Gallagher 1600 at Te Rapa.
“All we want now is a bit of black type with her and we’ll look for that probably next season,” part-owner and trainer Jim Pender said.
Adriatic Pearl’s custom has been to drift well back in her races, but in a small field she was able to keep the leaders within her sights and she finished off strongly in the run home.
“I was surprised she raced as handy as she did today,” Pender said.
“She’s got that X-factor and she’s a lovely mare to do anything with. She’s really matured now.”
Adriatic Pearl has been in fine touch this preparation and she was a winner on her home track at Tauranga three runs back before she finished runner-up to the Group Two winner Amarula at Te Rapa earlier this month.
The daughter of Zed was ridden by her regular partner Trudy Thornton and they proved too good for fellow grey Leeds on Saturday with El Pescado back in third.
“Trudy loves the mare and she gets on really well with her,” Pender said.
The favourite Pacorus, who was dropping back from his favoured middle distance to a mile, finished on late for fourth after being parked three wide throughout.
“He’ll go to the Taumarunui Gold Cup in two weeks’ time and then hit the paddock for three or four weeks,” trainer Chris Wood said.
“I might nominate him for the last day (the Group 1 Livamol Classic) at Hawke’s Bay and the main aim is the New Zealand Cup.”