A stunning display of resilience and courage in the heat of battle was on display at Tauherenikau on Tuesday as progressive mare Town Cryer claimed the Listed Wairarapa Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) in a torrid three-way tussle.
The Roydon Bergerson-prepared six-year-old was one of the main fancies in the contest after finishing third in the Group 3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham last month.
Rider Craig Grylls was content to sit outside surprise pacemaker Flower Of Wanaka during the early running before taking control of the race rounding the home bend.
That lead was short-lived as she was immediately headed by Sugah Sweet while Matamata visitor Snazzytavi was also joining issue further out.
The trio set down to a stirring battle as Town Cryer kicked back under vigorous riding from Grylls to reclaim the lead at the 100m and hold out Sugah Sweet by a head at the line with Snazzytavi just a long head back in third at the winning post.
Bergerson paid tribute to the determination of his mare who he believes should have an even better record in recent weeks including in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) where she was one of the many hindered by the false start to the race.
“She is such a tough mare and she never knows when she is beaten,” Bergerson said.
“Gryllsy said all the way down the straight she kept lifting and he thought she could have gone another 400m and still held them out.
“When she got headed, I did think we might be running for the minors, but she doesn’t know when to give up and got the lead back and the win.
“She has been a model of consistency in some good fields and even when she ran seventh in the Thorndon at Trentham, she should have finished closer as she picked the start brilliantly before they had to pull up and go again and that exertion probably told on her the second time around but she still wouldn’t give in.”
Bergerson will now focus on the upcoming Auckland Cup Carnival at Ellerslie where the $350,000 Rangitoto Classic (1500m) for horses from stables not in the top 10 on the National Trainers’ Premiership ladder on March 2 is the first target.
“She holds a nomination for the Auckland Cup (Group 2, 3200m) at Ellerslie and we are toying with starting her there as I think she isn’t really a two-miler but you need a bit of brilliance to win an Auckland Cup and she has that,” he said.
“The race on the first day over 1500m for trainers not in the top 10 is also very attractive, although I’m not sure what weight she will get or whether you can get an apprentice claim.
“If she can get conditions like that to suit then it is an attractive proposition.
“No matter what we do I would like to pay tribute to my staff as I’ve been away at the sales and they have done a super job with all our horses and that makes life so much easier when you have good people putting in the hard yards like they do.”