Matamata mare Supreme Heights added a second stakes victory to her burgeoning record when she took out Saturday’s Group 3 Wyndspelle Grangewilliam Stud Taranaki Breeders Stakes (1400m) at Hawera. The Mark Brosnan-trained five-year-old had given an emphatic display of front running when taking out a Group 3 contest at New Plymouth at her last start and repeated the dose on Saturday in similar fashion.
Rider Michael McNab took over the reins on the mare from the suspended Sam Collett but adopted the same game plan as he went straight to the front before stacking up his rivals in the mid-stages. South Island raider Kiwi Ida issued her challenge on the point of the home turn and looked to be travelling like a winner but Supreme Heights dug in bravely to reclaim the lead and win by a neck from the fast finishing Le Castille, with Kiwi Ida weakening slightly into third.
McNab, who was having his first ride on the mare, was suitably impressed with just how determined she was when he asked her for a little more in the home straight. “The instructions were to ride her like last time where she led and dictated but to also be prepared to take a sit if something wanted to go mad in front,” McNab said.
“I ended up getting a soft lead and she got into such a nice rhythm. “I thought we were travelling well but when I saw Kiwi Ida’s head come up to me, I asked her and she just found another gear. “She’s a tough little horse, who is a pleasure to ride so I’m delighted I could get on her.”
McNab has no doubts there is more in store for Supreme Heights who is from an extended family that includes Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) winner, Sky Heights. “That’s the first time I’ve ridden her but with the attitude she has and the will to win, I can’t see why she wouldn’t go on to win more races,” he said.
The victory provided McNab with the last leg of a winning treble after he had earlier scored aboard the Tony Pike-trained pair of Tellall and Puysegur.
Brosnan is unsure of the next plan for his charge, with the option to spell her before bringing her back in the autumn a distinct possibility. “I did have a few concerns about the track being a bit firm for her but she didn’t seem to worry about that,” Brosnan said.
“She’s lifted a peg or two lately but we’re not too sure what to do next as there is not a lot around for her at the moment. “We’ll take her home and reassess then but we might end up tipping her out and bringing her back for the autumn as she has been up since before the first lockdown. “I’ll have a talk to her owners but there is no fixed plan at this stage.”