Peter and Dawn Williams will please rival trainers if they play the waiting game with Spanish Whisper.
The husband and wife team produced the daughter of Lope De Vega for a hard-fought victory in Saturday’s Gr.2 J Swap Contractors Ltd Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) and they are undecided on a start in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie in a fortnight.
“We’ll play it by ear whether we go there or not,” Peter Williams said. “She’s going to be a better three-year-old.”
A debut winner in December, the filly then finished runner-up behind the subsequent Karaka Million (1200m) winner Avantage in mid-January.
Spanish Whisper made the running and was hotly challenged by She’s A Thief 200m from home with just a nose separating them at the post.
“She jumped well enough and then had to work hard to get to the front, the whole length of the back straight,” rider Vinnie Colgan said.
“She relaxed a bit across the top and then fought hard, she beat a good horse today.”
She’s A Thief also had to work hard from the outside gate to get close to the pace and was tenacious in the straight.
“She was very brave, you can’t ask any more really,” co-trainer Pam Gerard said. “She’s got a fantastic nature and she’s getting better all the time.”
Spanish Whisper and She’s A Thief had the finish to themselves with The Real Beel two and three-quarter lengths back in third.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained pair of Valalie, who made ground well from the back, and Lady Lira, who gave a solid account of herself on debut