Any questions over who is New Zealand’s best three-year-old filly can now be squashed.
Because, after tonight’s performance in the PGG Wrightson New Zealand Yearling Sales Series Fillies Final at Addington, that title clearly belongs with Venus Serena.
After doing a torrent of early work to find the front over northern filly Ideal Belle, further company soon arrived in the form of Libertybelle Midfrew. But, when it comes to a dog fight, few are better than Venus Serena, who proved that tonight holding Libertybelle Midfrew at bay to claim the $180,000 feature by 3/4s of a length.
“I thought she may have got run down after working so hard early but she is just so tough and she never gives in,” said West Melton trainer Geoff Dunn. “It is one thing getting up to her, but another thing getting past,” he explained.
“I knew when nothing sprinted up to her at the 400 metre mark that she would win.”
Venus Serena paced the 1950 metre journey in a super 2-19.9, which was just 0.2 of a second outside the national fillies record held by none other than Carabella.
The win was one of four for John Dunn, who was also successful aboard Kincaslough, Mashika, and smart two-year-old debutant Say My Name.
Geoff Dunn was also delighted with the fresh-up win of his star colt Tiger Tara, who was an effortless 3 & ½ length winner in the C3-4 event.
“He is just going from strength to strength,” enthused Dunn. “He will now head to Ashburton on the 8th of February, before heading north for the Great Northern Derby.
Meanwhile, Dominion winner Master Lavros overcame an early scare, which saw him gallop and cause a false start, to win the Seelite Windows & Doors Summer Trotting Free-For-All at Group Three level.
“The first couple of times (there were two false starts) I kept him back off the arm early, but that wasn’t helping him as he was trying to chase the gate too hard,” explained Jones. “So the third time I put him on the gate right from the start and he was perfect.”
Master Lavros will race again from behind the mobile at Addington on February 15 before heading to Sydney for the Trans-Tasman Challenge.
“All going well, he will also contest the Great Southern Star in Victoria,” said Jones
By Mitchell Robertson