Progressive mare Symphonic lived up to the pre-race confidence of co-trainer Peter Williams when she provided a polished display to land her fourth career victory at Te Rapa on the weekend.
Williams had advised he was pleased with the progress that the O’Reilly mare had made since a last-start victory at Pukekohe and although he felt she would benefit with a little more distance than the 1600 metres on offer, the mare was primed to go a bold race.
Those comments were right on the mark as Symphonic produced a powerful staying performance to capture the Lodge Real Estate Premier (1600m) rating 85 contest. Given a perfect run in transit by regular pilot Mark Du Plessis, Symphonic was angled into the clear early in the run home to issue her challenge. The five-year-old was resolute as she chased down pacemaker Arraignment before holding out a late run from L’Escalier Rose in the final few strides.
Although pleased with the positive outcome, Williams admits he and wife Dawn are in a quandary as they look to qualify the mare for the final of the Dunstan Feeds Stayers Championship final at Ellerslie on 1 January.
“She’s gone well and we had kept her fresh for the trip today,” he said.
“We’ve been aiming for the Dunstan final at Ellerslie, but we’ve been having trouble qualifying her as her preparation has been held up by the wet tracks.
“I want to give her a run over distance before the final and if I don’t run she won’t qualify, but we’re running out of time so it’s a bit of a no-win situation.”
Williams was quick to praise the effort of Du Plessis although he jokingly admitted the rider hadn’t followed their pre-race plan to the letter.
“He rode her well although he did say before the race he would be in the one-one position and he wasn’t,” he said.
“I’m going to have to have words about that.
“I think she may have just dwelt a little at the start but she’s a mare who has really come into her own this year and I think over the next two years she could turn into a real nice staying type.”