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Spratt ride does the trick at Tauranga

3 minute read

Sam Spratt’s ability to control races from the front has been no secret this season, and she was at her very best early at Tauranga with a top ride aboard promising three-year-old Did The Trick.

DID THE TRICK winning the GARTSHORE CONSTRUCTION 3YO Picture: Race Images Photo

Spratt had been aboard the Wayne Hillis-trained gelding at each of his four starts prior to Saturday's Gartshore Construction 3YO (1300m), and adopting front-running tactics in the most recent effort at Taupo helped him secured a breakthrough maiden success.

Stepping into open age-group company at Tauranga, Did The Trick was rated an $8.20 chance to go back-to-back with Spratt on board, while smart filly Cornelia topped the market at $2.80 ahead of last-start winner Bella Voce  ($3.60).

Did The Trick  burst away from barrier three and took up an uncontested lead, with Spratt controlling the tempo as she pleased ahead of Hanalei Star. The remainder of the field were left chasing on the home turn as the leading pair snuck away by a decent margin, and Did The Trick never looked in doubt as he powered clear to score by 3 ¼ lengths.

Cornelia finished creditably into second with a strong finish in the testing conditions, with Hanalei Star and another late-finisher in Swycho separated by a nose to complete the first-four.

"I was always going to be there, I thought Alexander's horse (Cornelia) might kick up a bit but it didn't, so I got a pretty easy lead," Spratt said.

"He kicked away really nicely and he's putting it together, it was good."

Matamata-based Hillis prepares Did The Trick for Evans Breeding Ltd, with the late Emma Evans breeding the son of Iffraaj out of her Don Eduardo mare Nailed It.

A winner of nine races, Nailed It has produced one other foal to race in Itsashame, a son of Shamexpress who trialled three times in New Zealand before being sold to Macau, where he has been successful in two of six starts.

Two races later at Tauranga, another impressive front-running victor in Martell was successful in the hands of Spratt, securing the fifth win of his 14-start career for Jim Collett and owner-breeder Gerry Harvey of New Zealand Thoroughbred Holdings.

She later collected her third winning ride on the card aboard Murray Garrett's Impaired Vision, saluting in the Waikato/BOP Racehorse Owners Maiden (2100m).

The early treble boosted Spratt's season tally to 63 with eight stakes winners, her leading overall total since the 2015/16 season.

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