One man who was happy to see the wet underfoot conditions that prevailed at Ellerslie on Saturday was Te Aroha trainer Peter Lock.
Lock had been hoping for a rain affected surface for progressive galloper Southern Princess who was tackling the rating 75 grade for the first time after scoring narrowly in midweek company at Tauranga at her most recent run.
The Guillotine mare had shown a liking for damper footing in the past and she relished Saturday’s Slow 8 surface to make it back-to-back victories for Lock who also shares in the ownership of the four-year-old.
“She’s a very very tough mare,” said Lock.
“We’ve been waiting for the ground to be wet although we had her in earlier on good tracks where she had a second and win but we’ve been waiting for the ground to change.
“Hopefully now we can keep her in one piece and go through the winter with her.”
Handled expertly by apprentice Jordan Nason, Southern Princess tracked a muddling pace set by Silver Sasanof before taking over early in the run home.
Sent for home by Nason, Southern Princess kept up a dogged gallop as she fought off the challenge of runner-up Richie McHorse to score by a length at the finishing line.
Lock was full of praise for the ride of Nason who has been in good form of late.
“He’s done everything right,” said Lock.
“He’s ridden her three times now for two wins and a second. I’m always pretty loyal and he’s done a good job so why take him off.”
Lock also reported stable star Hiflyer was thriving during a well-deserved spell after a busy summer campaign.
“He’s done extremely well,” he said.
“He will probably have another six weeks in the paddock and then we’ll bring him back into work.”
Hiflyer won three of his six starts in his latest preparation including twice at Group 3 level before finishing third in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) to round out his campaign.”