Jake Bayliss celebrates as Spring Heat romps home in the Bonecrusher Stakes.
A new three-year-old star was unveiled at Ellerslie this afternoon as Spring Heat scored a runaway win in the Gr. 3 Hynds Holdings Bonecrusher Stakes.
The Wexford team of Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott paid A$240,000 to buy the daughter of More Than Ready at the 2016 Inglis Sydney Easter Sale, and they knew from a very early stage that they had a special filly in their ranks. Now the rest of the New Zealand racing industry knows it too.
A fast-finishing second on debut at Taupo and then a three-length maiden winner at Hastings, Spring Heat took a huge step up in class today against the likes of proven black-type performers Prom Queen, Hard Merchandize and Florence Jean.
Ridden by Jake Bayliss, Spring Heat sat well back in the field in a race that began at a blistering speed but slackened around the 1000-metre mark.
She came wide in the straight and accelerated explosively, soaring to victory by two and a half lengths. The time for the 1400-metre race was 1:23.82.
“We’ve had a big opinion of this filly for such a long time,” Scott said. “We gave her a little run along around this time last year and she showed us a huge amount of natural ability.
“But we’ve had to be very patient with her, she’s had some issues with her shins and just a real lack of maturity. Hopefully that patience is starting to be rewarded now.
“She got a bit lost turning into the straight, but to finish the way she did and get away from them in the last little bit was very impressive. I was watching the race with my kids and I told them she was going to have to be good to win from the position she was in, and she did it.
“She’ll take a huge amount of improvement from this, and she’ll really benefit from the experience as well. It’s exciting.
“Lance will talk to the owners and make a decision on where we go next, but coming back here on Boxing Day for the Eight Carat Classic seems to be a logical next step.”
Spring Heat is raced by Hong Kong’s Hermitage Thoroughbreds, who have combined with O’Sullivan and Scott for Group One successes with Willie Cazals and Summer Passage in the last 15 months.
A week after a suspension forced him to watch from the sidelines as On The Rocks won the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial, young Australian jockey Bayliss made up for that disappointment with a dream day at Ellerslie this afternoon. He won the open sprint on class mare Volpe Veloce, then picked up the first black-type win of his career in the Bonecrusher.
“Whether it's in New Zealand or Australia, it’s great to win a Group Three race,” he said. “Lance and Scotty are great blokes and fantastic trainers. I’m very grateful to them for the opportunity.
“They had her cherry ripe today, she looked a million dollars and ran a great race. She’s got much better than Group Three races ahead of her.”
Scott paid tribute to Bayliss, who has made a big impression with 12 wins since arriving in New Zealand in early November.
“He really deserves it,” Scott said. “He’s at the track every morning for as long as he’s needed. He’s got a great work ethic, he rides well and he really understands the game.”
Xbox produced a strong finish to run second, with The Great Southern holding third after being on-pace throughout the race.
Favourite Prom Queen finished just behind in fourth. She had to work from her wide gate to reach the lead, but had a relatively economical run for most of the race and was unable to produce her usual kick in the straight.