Kayla Marie and Michelle Neilson take out the Caduceus Club of Southland and Alabar Classic. Photo: Wild Range Photography.
The All Stars Stable went back-to-back in the first two features at the Ascot Park meeting of the Northern Southland club this afternoon (Saturday), but punters didn't get it quite right.
Kayla Marie was only second favourite when successful in the Group 3 Caduceus Club of Southland and Alabar Classic for two-year-old pacing fillies while Luby Lou went out 2/3 in the betting when winning the inaugural Haras des Trotteurs Southland Trotting Oaks.
Stablemate Dracarys started win favourite for the Classic but broke going into the first bend with driver Tim Williams blaming driver error.
Michelle Neilson had the reins of the winner and wasn't about to concede that Kayla Marie wouldn't have won it anyway.
“She's beaten Dracarys before and I was quite confident,” Neilson said.
“After her last race I expected another good run. She's a good traveller, a good doer and she tries so hard.
“Off the track, she's real casual, the difference on raceday is unbelievable.”
Saturdays win was the second juvenile fillies group race win in less than 24 hours for Manawatu owners Braeden and Caroline Whitelock who bred and share in the ownership of Princess Tiffany, successful in the group two Delightful Lady Classic at Alexandra Park last night.
They also bred Kayla Marie and both fillies are by Bettor's Delight.
Normal service resumed for Williams when he guided Luby Lou to her win.
“She came out of the gate nice and once she found the front she was always travelling,” Williams said.
A filly by Muscle Hill, Luby Lou is the first foal from imported mare Luby Ann, who raced in New Zealand and won four races for Mark Purdon.
Luby Lou, bred by Breckon Farms and raced by them with the Six Of The Best Syndicate, won a Breeders Crown heat at Addington in July but didn't carry on.
“Mark said she needed time,” Neilson said.
Fresh-up this season in the Hambletonian, the filly broke early and lost all chance.
“She wasn't trotting 100 per cent and was uncomfortable on the first bend,” advised Neilson, who said Purdon, with assistance from a physio and a chiropractor, was confident there would be no repeat today.
Luby Lou's winning time of 2:47.9 for the mobile 2200 metres was a new three-year-old trotters record for the track.