Certain horses are better suited to some trainers than others and trotter Miss Blissful appears to be firmly in that category.
The daughter of Pegasus Spur, an impressive winner at Auckland on Friday night, was part of a stable swap in the middle of winter.
In the deal, Jason and Megan Teaz took her over from former trainer Mike Berger, while Berger took over the then unraced Teaz-trained horse, Mach Little Soaky.
Both horses have come out this season and performed creditably for their new trainers, making the swap somewhat of a master stroke for all concerned, especially their owners, Gordonton couple Jack and Jo Davies.
Jason Teaz takes up the story.
“We had the pick of them when they were yearlings; there were three of them at the Davies’ in a paddock, including Miss Blissful and Mach Little Soaky.
“We chose Mach Little Soaky and left Miss Blissful there.
“Time went on and we couldn’t really get him going that well.
“We got him qualified, but honestly felt like we were ripping the owners off by keeping him in work.
“We just couldn’t do a thing with him because he was a difficult horse.
“After he’d been back at the Davies’ for a month, we rung up to have a chat to them and Jack mentioned that Miss Blissful had been sent home too.
“She’d been making mistakes and that sort of thing for Mike Berger and we got the impression he was in no hurry to get her back either.
“I remembered Mike had trained Warm Soak, the dam of Mach Little Soaky, so suggested to Jack that it might be a good idea to do a swap and take a fresh approach.”
Mach Little Soaky ultimately won two of his first three starts for Berger while Miss Blissful has now won twice and earned just shy of $30,000 on the season for the Teazs.
That’s not to say the journey has been without headaches – Miss Blissful has been known to throw in the odd short gallop or rough step at crucial times late in her races, including last week when she got to the passing lane and looked like winning.
“We still don’t really know what that is; at this stage its being put down to over-extending herself when going in to a really top sprint. That’s when she seems to do it.”
Last night driver Megan Teaz took a different approach and had her out and rolling in the open, parked outside the leader, Secretofthesea Smile.
Teaz asked her to go at the top of the straight and she put the rest of them to the sword, cruising down for an easy three-length win.
“We decided to drive her a bit differently – either lead if was there or go back in the field so she had to hook out earlier to build up a sprint.
“Last night she put the heat on a long way from home and the others crumbled around her which was nice, because it proved to us that she’s not just a sit-sprinter, she’s got the all-round game”
One thing is for sure – she’s come a long way from the proposition that turned up at their stable back in August.
“When we first got her, she really didn’t have any idea. She was the greenest horse I’d ever trained that had that many starts.
“She didn’t have a clue about anything.”
Time and maturity and lot of miles, especially with Megan, now have her sitting fifth on the Jewels leaderboard, though a trip south seems, oddly, unlikely.
“The owners aren’t interested in going to the Jewels unfortunately, which is a shame.
“So, I guess we will just potter around here and keep educating her.
“I’d like to think in 12 months’ time she could be up to winning a Breeders Stakes, and perhaps even angling for a start in the Rowe Cup.
“You’ve got to have goals and we think she’ll go a fair way.”