Talented mare Media Sensation backed up an eye-catching performance at the Ellerslie trials earlier this month with a comprehensive front-running effort to take out the feature event for the fillies and mares at Pukekohe on Saturday, the Group 2 Dunstan Feeds Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m).
Successful at the elite level as a three-year-old when winning the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m), the now five-year-old I Am Invincible mare hadn’t been seen at the racetrack since finishing second at Ellerslie back in early March.
Trainers Peter and Dawn Williams gave her plenty of time off after that run before bringing her back for her first trial in mid-October. Two more trial runs preceded Saturday’s raceday reappearance where she paraded in fine fettle for rider Opie Bosson.
Bosson bounced his charge away from a middle barrier to take up the running before setting a muddling pace throughout. Media Sensation gave a good kick in the run home as she held out Showoroses and Supreme Heights in a driving finish to record her seventh victory and go one better in the event, having finished runner-up to race rival Yearn in the 2019 edition of the contest.
Dawn Williams was thrilled with the performance and believes a stint of beach-work had made a major difference to her charge. “We have been quite happy with her and had done a good bit of work with her on the beach,” she said. “She had a really good break over the winter and we didn’t rush her back. “The time she spent at the beach has really brought her on and she did look good heading to the start today.
“We are mindful of her feet though, as she can get a bit clunky running on the really hard tracks. “The track today suited her and it was a lovely ride by Opie. “We targeted this race first up and now she has that under her belt we will have a look towards what is next for her.”
One of the missions that the Williams’ have in mind for their charge is the Group 1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s day. “I think she is best at around 1200m-1400m so we have her nominated for the Railway at Auckland,” Williams said.
“Even though she got the mile when she won her Group 1, she is better over the sprint distances. “She just needs to get into a good rhythm, like she did today and she can be a hard horse to get past. “She goes well fresh so I’m not sure whether we would have another run before Ellerslie but we will just see how she comes through this one.”
Raced by Barneswood Farm’s Sarah Green and Ger Beemsterboer, Media Sensation has now won seven times from 17 starts, with four at stakes level and has amassed over $385,000 in prizemoney.