Under-rated mare Lil Miss Swiss produced a devastating late burst to snatch victory in Saturday’s feature flat race at Riccarton, the Greenwood Amberley Cup (1600m).
Dropped out to a clear last in a strung-out field by apprentice rider Tanya Jonker, the Rip Van Winkle five-year-old looked a forlorn hope when still spotting the leaders a conservative ten lengths at the 800m mark.
Set alight by Jonker down the outside rail in the home straight, Lil Miss Swiss claimed the lead in the final bound as she denied evergreen galloper Scapolo a fairy tale conclusion in his 78th and final start, as she snatched the victory by a short head.
Co-trainer Kelvin Tyler, who prepares Lil Miss Swiss with daughter Aimee at the venue, advised the team has bigger things in store for their charge later in the winter.
“That is the only way to ride her, drop her out and come around them,” Tyler said.
“Tanya knows her well although I did think it might be a bit short for her (Lil Miss Swiss) today and maybe not quite wet enough.
“I know she is well as she has been working the track down and she is in a good place.
“We don’t have a lot of races down here for these staying types, so possibly we will take her north for the Parliamentary Handicap (Trentham, July 13) next.”
The victory was the 6th in a 38-start career for Lil Miss Swiss who had also taken out the Listed Riverton Cup (2170m) earlier in the year.
Class performer Scapolo tried hard to claim his 21st career victory after trainer Kevin Myers advised the race would be the last in a wonderful career that commenced back in 2011 when placed in a Listed juvenile event at his raceday debut. The Bachelor Duke nine-year-old proved a model of consistency throughout his career which saw him claim victory at stakes level on four occasions while also registering 14 stakes placings including finishing third in the 2016 Gr.1 Haunui Farm Group One WFA Classic (1600m).