Exciting mare It’s Business Time extended her winning sequence to five with another star turn in Saturday’s Coupland’s Bakeries Mile Trial (1400m) at Riccarton.
A late developer whose early career was held up by injury, It’s Business Time began her rise through the grades with back-to-back wins in February and March to close out her four-year-old season.
She resumed with another two sprint victories in Rating 75 grade at Riccarton in September, and on Saturday she stretched out over 1400m, stepped up into open company and delivered the same result.
The daughter of Turn Me Loose jumped well from gate two in the hands of jockey Sam Weatherley, and she settled nicely in a midfield position for most of the race.
It’s Business Time appeared to be full of running coming up to the home turn, but got squeezed back and then was surrounded with nowhere to go.
A gap appeared with 300m remaining and It’s Business Time immediately quickened, dashing through to take a clear lead.
There was a late scare as the lightly raced Watch Out flashed home, but It’s Business Time had enough up her sleeve to hold on by a long head. The third-placed Lightning Jack finished two and a quarter lengths behind the impressive first pair.
Bred and part-owned by Windsor Park Stud, It’s Business Time has now had nine starts for six wins, two placings and $155,670 in stakes.
Her Riccarton heroics were part of a super Saturday for Te Akau Racing trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson, who also won the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) in Melbourne with Imperatriz and saddled Cognito to score at Pukekohe.
“It was good effort after getting shuffled back inside the 600m, and she hit the line so strongly,” Walker said.
It’s Business Time has tightened her hold on favouritism for the Group 3 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton on November 15, dropping from +200 to +140. Diss Is Dramatic is the second favourite at +380, with fellow Saturday winner Desert Lightning at +700.
It’s Business Time became the 50th winner in New Zealand this season for the all-conquering Te Akau operation.
“After a record-breaking last season (203 wins), it’s incredible to think that the stable is slightly ahead of that pace again with 50 wins before the end of October,” Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis said.
“We’ve got such great staff across the board at our stables in Matamata, Riccarton, Victoria and Singapore, and it’s a credit to Mark and Sam, our racing manager Reece Trumper, assistant trainer Nicole Shailer, and Hunter Durrant (managing the South Island stable), that we can provide our owners with top-quality people to look after the horses.
“We’ve had a great association with the Schick family at Windsor Park Stud, and it’s a thrill to be training this very promising mare for Rodney (Schick) and his friends.”