A decision has yet to be made whether exciting galloper Back In A Flash remains in her ratings grade or steps up to black-type level for her next start.
The Ekraar mare returned from a break to win a Rating 82 1400 at Ellerslie on Boxing Day. She had not raced since late August when winning the Taranaki Challenge at New Plymouth and now boasts a record of four wins and a third from five starts.
Her Te Aroha trainers Keith and Gavin Opie are now mulling over whether to take on stakes company in the Gr. 2 Westbury Classic at Ellerslie on Karaka Million night or take a more conservative path to a Rating 82 1400 at Pukekohe the day before.
“She came through the Ellerslie race in good order, not that we’ve done a lot with her since,” said Keith Opie, “but at this stage we’ll probably nom her for both races and then make our minds up.”
Back In A Flash’s rating rose to 82 with her Ellerslie win and she would still come into a Rating 82 race on favourable terms with her two-kilo female allowance. Connections are confident that she has the potential for bigger assignments, but various factors need to be weighed up in the meantime.
“We’d like to think she’s headed for some decent races,” Opie added. “The conditions of the Westbury Classic mean she’ll get in on the minimum (55kg), but the one thing we don’t really know is how she’ll go on a better track.
“All her earlier wins were on heavy tracks and we thought the plan to start at Ellerslie on Boxing Day would tell us how she’d manage good ground, but then the track came up heavy.
“Maybe that helped her but we were no wiser, although she did win a trial early last year on a Good2 track, so we do know she won’t get left behind where ever she goes.”
On top of the $100,000 stake, an additional incentive for Westbury Classic runners is the services to stallions stood by race sponsors Westbury Stud on offer for the first three placegetters.