Local filly Best Seller showed she had taken plenty of benefit out of her first up victory at Taupo last month when she produced a resolute finish to win the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings.
The John Bary-trained three-year-old seemed to be in a world of trouble when back second last on the home bend after being allowed to settle on her own terms by rider Sam Spratt.
Opie Bosson looked likely to claim his second black-type feature on the day after scoring with Dynastic in the Listed El Roca-Sir Colin Meads Trophy (1200m) earlier when he shot well-related Not A Single Doubt filly Sans Doute to a three-length lead early in the run home.
At that stage the only serious pursuer was Best Seller who was working through her gears as she clawed back the deficit before taking over at the 100m to race to a stylish one and a half-length victory.
Bary was thrilled to record a home track black-type success as he plots a path for the daughter of Highview Stud stallion Wrote towards the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 12.
“I thought she over-raced a little early and I think Sam didn't want to fight her so she dragged her back to where she would settle,” he said.
“We've got bigger fish to fry going forward over 1400m or a mile, but she is a classy filly and that gets you a long way.
“She had to dig deep today and it was a gutsy effort, so I'm thrilled for Adrian (Clark) and all the syndicate who own her as they support us really well.
“He is great to train for and he just seems to keep picking them (good horses).
“The Hawke's Bay Guineas (Group 2, 1400m) in three weeks is the immediate plan then maybe up to Te Rapa (Group 2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes, 1400m) before we look at the 1000 Guineas which is the main one on the radar.”
The victory by Best Seller provides another feather in the cap for Challenge Syndications principal Adrian Clark who experienced the highs of racing with Jennifer Eccles a few seasons ago, with the daughter of Rip Van Winkle winning the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m), Group 2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m), Group 2 David and Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic (2000m) and Group 2 Lowland Stakes (2100m) on her way to being crowned New Zealand Three-Year-Old Filly of her year.
She was purchased by Clark off gavelhouse.com for just $5,000 with Best Seller another bargain buy after he went to $12,000 to secure her out of Highview Stud's 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 2 Yearling Sale draft.
Stakes placed as a juvenile when runner-up in the Group 2 Matamata Breeders' Stakes (1200m) last season, Best Seller has now won two of her six starts and over $111,000 in prizemoney.
She becomes the first stakes winner for her sire Wrote, a son of highly acclaimed international stallion High Chaparral, who stands at Highview Stud for $5,000+ GST for the 2022 breeding season.