Lessons learned from last year’s tilt at the Group 1 Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) could be the catalyst for Miss Wilson landing a valuable elite-level win at Te Aroha on Saturday.
Hastings trainer John Bary produced the Stratum mare as fourth favourite in last year’s weight-for- age fillies and mares race, run at Te Rapa, but shooting for her fifth straight win she could only manage fourth after working too hard to sit outside the leader from her outside gate.
“I just think when we got to the Breeders last year she was a bit tired,” Bary said.
“We took her to Trentham and she won the Cuddle Stakes, but we decided to bypass that race this year for two reasons. If she had run, she would have been conceding a couple of kilos to that whole field and, secondly, I think she’s better a touch fresh.
“She goes into this race fresh at a mile, but that doesn’t worry me. She naturally keeps herself fit and I just felt she didn’t need the extra race to be at her peak.” Miss Wilson flashed home for third to Montoya Star at Hastings last month and her progress since then has pleased Bary.
“She’s a year older and a year stronger and she’s holding her condition a lot better than she did last year when she was always walking a knife edge,” Bary said.
“She’s a big mare, but she’s lightly-framed and it hasn’t always been easy to keep the condition on her. She’s a lot better now and this isn’t the strongest field for the Te Aroha Breeders. “There are good horses in there. Darscape Princess is in form and she’ll be tough to beat and Cote D’Or and Montoya Star are going well, but I think our girl is right in it.”
TAB bookmakers have Miss Wilson as an equal $9 fourth favourite with Group 1 winner and last year’s runner-up Thee Auld Floozie in a market headed by Darscape Princess at $3.20, Cote D’Or at $4.50 and Coldplay at $5.
Bred and raced by Richard and Liz Wood, Miss Wilson is a younger half-sister to their six-time Group One winner and New Zealand Horse of the Year Jimmy Choux, now standing at Matamata’s Rich Hill Stud.
A winner of six of her 24 starts, including two at Group 3 level, Miss Wilson has drawn barrier 10 in a field of 12 with Bary likely to ask rider Vinnie Colgan to find cover in midfield.
“The barrier draw doesn’t worry me. I don’t want to be last, but I don’t want to be in front either,” Bary said.