A STEP up in journey for John and Chris Ledger-trained runner Miss Chaparral has paid instant dividends after the mare took out the Class Two Book Your Wedding @ MTC at Wagga on Tuesday over the 1600m journey.
The six-year-old stayed in the middle of the racing pack in a wide-open affair, but at the right moment the horse got steered to the front at the 400m and was never headed, returning +460 at Sportsbet.com.au.
The Wangaratta-based mare fought off a game Play The Ones, which delivered a huge +720 to WilliamHill.com.au customers while Obscurity rounded out the placings to return +140 at Crownbet.com.au.
The horse’s co-trainer Chris Ledger said he always had faith his mare would be a stayer.
“She hasn’t attacked the mile for quite some time,” Ledger told HorseBetting.com.au.
The heavy track at Wagga has presented challenges to a number of runners over the course of the day, but Ledger believes the horse’s breeding held it in good stead despite only previously racing on a heavy track once in its career to date.
“She’s out of High Chaparral, so the track and distance weren’t going to be a problem.
“She only had the one previous start at Bendigo on a heavy track and went pretty well, and her mother has thrown up a couple of winners over the longer distance, so she’s been bred to stay a little bit.”
The horse has had its fair share of adversity to overcome in its 19 start career, which has now yielded three wins and four minor placings after today’s result.
— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) August 1, 2017
“She actually pulled her hamstring last time she raced at Moonee Valley,” the co-trainer explained.
“Thankfully we think we’ve gotten her over that and it showed today that she’s good to go after a really nice win.”
The win marked just the second start in NSW for the six-year-old, which has raced almost exclusively in Victoria across its career.
Ledger said that the team were keen to take the horse to Wagga after the meeting was transferred from Albury, despite the additional two hour trip.
“The meeting was transferred from Albury, but we knew that a month ago so we thought we’d stay true to the plan and see how she’d go the NSW way.”
The decision to stick to the racing schedule for the team paid dividends for the Ledger team, which now has a staying mare that can win on both sides of the border.
The co-trainer said Tuesday’s victory opens up a number of options for his horse after it proved it can run both ways.
“We’ll bring horses to Wagga if we think we have the right one, when you race on the opposite way you can sometimes lose a length or two.
“We had been training her the reverse way, and while it’s well and good to see them go well on the training track it’s handy to know she can now win both ways.”